Thursday, June 20, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Tigers eye improved show in Antigua Test

1st of 2 Tests begins in Antigua Thursday at 8pm

Update : 15 Jun 2022, 07:50 PM

Visitors Bangladesh will look to pull up a better performance in the longest format when they lock horns with hosts West Indies in the first Test of the two-match series at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua Thursday.

Eyes will be on all-rounder Shakib al Hasan who is set to start a new journey through an old road – leading Bangladesh in Test cricket.

Shakib picked charge of the team in the format for the third time as Bangladesh Cricket Board handed him the responsibility after Momimul Haque stepped down from the role on the back of heavy criticism.

Bangladesh team reached the Caribbean following a Test series defeat against Sri Lanka at home.

The visitors are comparatively more experienced than the West Indies side but they will have to address their issues in top-order batting against a capable pace attack and the task of adapting to the climate in the islands and with the Dukes cricket ball.

Bangladesh batters Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das will be expected to continue their recent good form that was displayed in the practice match and the Sri Lanka series while big expectations will be on Mominul to jump out of the shell and focus on his job of scoring runs – the reason why he had left the Bangladesh Test captaincy.

In the bowling department, Bangladesh will be a bit relieved with the return of Mustafizur Rahman in the absence of Taskin Ahmed and Shariful Islam.

Both Taskin and Shariful are recovering from injuries.

Mustafizur is likely to join forces with Ebadat Hossain and Khaled Ahmed in the pace unit and play a Test match for the first time since February 2021.

The team management will also be happy with the return of all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz who recuperated from a finger injury.

The off-spinner will take his place back from Mosaddek Hossain in the playing XI.

As far as injury in the Bangladesh camp is concerned, only middle-order batter Yasir Ali Chowdhury is missing out from selection after he got ruled out due to back injury, sustained during the three-day warm-up game. 

The home side on the other hand have three uncapped players to look at in a squad which is already young compared to the opposition.

Wicketkeeper-batter Devon Thomas, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and pacer Anderson Phillip got included in the squad for the series - part of the World Test Championship - after Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel failed to find a place in the Test side for various reasons.

The Windies are certain to field at least two debutants as their 12-man squad features three uncapped players.

Phillip is one of four players in the squad returning from the three-match one-day international tour of Pakistan which ended Sunday, along with fellow pace bowlers Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph, and all-rounder Kyle Mayers. 

The West Indies will be buoyed by memories of Bangladesh's last visit to Antigua in 2018 when the visitors were routed for just 53 on the first morning en route to innings defeats in both Tests of the series.

The conditions in Antigua are expected to be cloudy with high levels of humidity in otherwise pleasant weather.

The batters will be tested, especially in the first couple of days.

The game is scheduled to begin at 8pm Bangladesh time.

There is however, uncertainty for the viewers in Bangladesh to watch the game live as none of the local broadcasters bought rights of the series till this report was filed.     

Bangladesh (probable):

Shakib al Hasan (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadat Hossain

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