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West Indies vs Bangladesh 1st Test at St Vincent, Preview: Time for Bangladesh to justify the tag of ‘Test playing nation’

© IANS (File Photo)
West Indies will look to win this series comprehensively © IANS (File Photo)

By Sandipan Banerjee

Sep 4, 2014

West Indies are all set to take on Bangladesh in a two-Test series, with the first Test starting at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St Vincent from Friday. After their clean sweep of three match one-day series, the hosts are heavily favoured to dictate terms in the white jersey as well.

On the other hand, it’s high time for the Bangladesh to justify their tag of a “Test playing nation”. Apart from few over enthusiastic Bangladeshi fans, no one is expecting Bangladesh to win this series. But what Mushfiqur Rahim’s team need to do, is to show some character and produce some noticeable performances in these two Test matches.

Five years ago, when Bangladesh last played a Test series in this part of the world, they achieved a historic triumph by defeating a depleted West Indies team. Before that, in 2004 they managed to draw a Test match (without the help of weather Gods) against a strong Caribbean side. So the Asian side had some good memories of playing Tests matches in West Indies.

This time Bangladesh needs to fight plenty of odds. They will go into the brief series without their best player, Shakib Al Hasan, who is also the currently the number one Test all-rounder of the world. Not only Shakib’s batting experience will be missed, but his orthodox left arm spin would have been handy for the visitors in tired Caribbean pitches. To make matters worse, skipper Rahim will not be able to call on the services of off-spinner Sohag Gazi, whose bowling action was reported by the umpires during the second One-day International (ODI) in Grenada.Elias Sunny replaced him in the squad, although his fitness for the first Test is still questionable factor.

Given their handicapped situation in the bowling resources, Bangladesh’s best chance to avoid straight defeat is their batting. In the recently concluded three-day match practice match at St Kitts Bangladeshi batsmen did well , as captain Rahim and Nasir Hossain compiled hundreds. Apart from these two, players like Mominul Haque ,Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes will be expected to take care of Bangladesh batting.

West Indies on the other side are keen to make remark under new captain Denesh Ramdin.  After their 1-2 home series loss to New Zealand in July they will look to win this series comprehensively and get good match practice before the important India tour. Their two key players, mystery spinner Sunil Narine and experienced all-rounder Dwayne Bravo are unavailable for their Champions League commitments. Though big guns like Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin are there in the team but Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the 40-year old veteran, will be the key player for the hosts in this format.

However Narine’s absence will give Suleiman Benn another opportunity to cement his place in the Test side. Whereas Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder- these are the four fast bowlers who will look after the West Indies pace department.

Squads:

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin (c&wk), Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Sulieman Benn.

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (c&wk), Mahmudullah, Shuvagata Hom, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain.

Time: 14.00 GMT  | 19.30 IST

Complete coverage of Bangladesh tour of West Indies 2014

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)

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