West Indies are going into their first international game since their World T20 triumph last month in Sri Lanka, and it’s Bangladesh they are up against at Dhaka on Tuesday. West Indies, though improved in the limited-overs format in the last couple of the years, still have a lot to prove in the longest format of the game.
Star Caribbean batsman Chris Gayle, who has had a successful return since making peace with the West Indies Cricket Board, said despite the success in ODIs and T20s it’s Test cricket that poses maximum challenges.
“I am happy to be a part of the World Twenty20, it feels good. It's a milestone. But we have to play well in the longer format of the game, that has been our major challenge. I have made the necessary adjustments from limited overs cricket to Tests and it will be a challenge,” Gayle said ahead of the match.
West Indies were deprived of good practice when their three-day side game was called off due to wet ground in Savar, a town 40 kilometers from capital Dhaka. The track at the Shere Bangla National Stadium is expected to be a rank turner and the Caribbean team may find it hard to get going on such a pitch. Gayle also acknowledged that it could get really tough for them. "It’s always difficult to play Bangladesh in Bangladesh. But you know guys are good, even though we won the series last time we came here, but they have got good players. They have a captain [Mushfiqur Rahim] who leads from the front.”
As for Bangladesh, it’s a very important series. They haven’t done well against top nations since being given Test status in 2000. Questions have been raised over their capability, so a good show in the two-Test contest is what they must be aiming at. They have some really world-class players in their squad, like Shakib Al Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal. It’s their opportunity to lose. The whole team has got to fire together to get the better of this Windies team high on recent successes.
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Shahriar Nafees, 4 Naeem Islam, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain & WK), 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Elias Sunny, 10 Shahadat Hossain, 11 Rubel Hossain.
West Indies: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Assad Fudadin, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Narsingh Deonarine, 7 Denesh Ramdin (WK), 8 Darren Sammy (CAPTAIN), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Fidel Edwards, 11 Veerasammy Permaul.