Tigers take on Windies in 1st T20 to back in winning way

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Sports desk, July 01: Leaving behind the horrible Test memory, Bangladesh are solely focused on hitting back in a winning way, as they take on West Indies in the opening game of the three-match T20 International tomorrow (Saturday) at Windsor Park in Dominica.

The match which starts at 11.30 PM as per Bangladesh Time will be aired live on T Sports Channel.

After being whitewashed in the two-match Test series, it’s high time for Bangladesh to bounce back but things are not going well for the Tigers, who just won one in the last 10 matches in this format. That lone victory came against Afghanistan at home. Before that, they were whitewashed in the three-match T20 series at home against Pakistan and lost all of the five Super 12 matches in T20 World Cup.

Nevertheless, Bangladesh will draw inspiration from their T20 record against West Indies as they are finding a right combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

The last time when Bangladesh toured in West Indies in 2018, they won the three-match T20 series by 2-1 after being swept in the Test series, although the T20 series was held in USA. Moreover, while Bangladesh boast a disastrous record in the T20 format, their win-loss ratio against the two–time Champions West Indies is something to savour. They played 13 matches against the Caribbean side, winning five, losing seven while one was abandoned.

Overall Bangladesh played 125 matches in this format, winning 44 and losing 79. Two of matches fetched no result.

But what ailed Bangladesh in the shortest format of cricket is their clarity of the game. They appeared not to find a way how to play this format—sometimes they went for aggressive brand of cricket, only to find them being slumped miserably, and sometimes, they remained too watchful, something didn’t match T20 style.

Bangladesh batting coach Jamie Siddons, the Tigers need to find something between the aggression and caution.

Siddons said Bangladesh could make it big without hitting big actually, because naturally the player from this region was not strongly built to hit sixes nonchalantly like the Caribbean or players from other European and Australian countries.

“As a nation, I don’t think we [Bangladesh] have many big players. If you look at players like Jos Buttler, Glenn Maxwell and more, they are over six feet tall. But we have to find other ways too,” Siddons said.

“I don’t think we need to put massive totals on the board, but we should put good totals. Singles and two are very important and also boundaries as well. Hitting fours is almost as good as hitting big sixes and I think we should focus on that,” Siddons added.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taskin Ahmed were included in the T20 team at the eleventh hour and could be slotted into the first XI straightway. If so, Miraz will play his first T20 match after four years, while for Taskin it will be first match in this format this year. There is also Anamul Haque Bijoy who played his last T20 International match in 2019.

As this series is seen as a preparation platform for the T20 World Cup, West Indies brought up numerous changes to their squad, where some big guns are missing. But still, they have firepower in batting and bowling to dent Bangladesh’s hope.

Bangladesh: Mahmudullah Riyad (captain), Munim Shahriar, Liton Das, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed

West Indies: Nicholas Pooran (capt), Rovman Powell (vice-capt), Shamarh Brooks, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Dominic Drakes (reserve player).

Source: BSS