Tigers face Windies tonight amid uncertainty over illness...

Tigers face Windies tonight amid uncertainty over illness

 Sports Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 11:21 AM, 2 July 2022   Updated: 11:46 AM, 2 July 2022

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad and West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran; Photo: Collected

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad and West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran; Photo: Collected

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 on 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. 

Meanwhile, the 181-km ferry travels for the Tigers to cross the Atlantic Ocean from St. Lucia to Dominica was rough due to the cyclone. The cricketers of Bangladesh became extremely ill due to the swaying of the waves. Shoriful Islam, Nurul Hasan Sohan, and Nasum Ahmed fell a little too sick.

However, their illness was not chronic. Former national team star Athar Ali Khan, also a TV commentator, informed on his Facebook status last night that Shoriful is healthy. Athar Ali uploaded a selfie with Shoriful.

Bangladesh tour manager Nafis Iqbal also said all the cricketers are now “healthy”. 

Although the cricketers are healthy, the weather in Dominica is not conducive to playing so far. Bangladesh cricketers could not practice the day before the match due to rain. However, captain Mahmudullah Riyad has no regrets about not being able to practice.

“Conditions did not allow us (to practice) today,” he told a news conference. “Because it was raining all day. Yesterday (Thursday) we traveled. I think before that we enjoyed playing football in St. Louis, having a 40-minute fielding session.”

He added, “I think mentally we have to prepare that way. I also told them to stay ahead mentally as much as possible in the match situation...especially in our case, so that we can be mentally prepared. That’s the decent thing to do.”

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 the right combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. 

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 the USA. Moreover, while Bangladesh boasts a disastrous record in the T20 format, their win-loss ratio against the two–time Champions West Indies is something to savor. 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 the 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 to how to play this format – sometimes they went for an aggressive brand of cricket, only to find them being slumped miserably, and sometimes, they remained too watchful, something didn’t match T20 style.

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 the 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).