The Bangladeshi fans are finally in a state of joy as the cricket is finally returning to Bangladesh after a gap of 10 months and 10 days. Due to COVID, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had to cancel their Pakistan, Ireland, and England tours and to postpone a series against Australia. The new year brought an end to this as West Indies decided to tour Bangladesh for an ODI and a Test series.
The first game of the 3-match ODI series will be played on 20th January 2021 at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka. Bangladeshi all-rounder and fan-favorite, Shakib Al Hasan is returning to the squad after serving a year ban given by ICC for failing to report a match-fixing approach. The series will be his comeback journey to reclaim what he has lost. Also, this series is a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket Super League. Therefore, both teams would like to start their ICC World Cup 2023 qualification campaign to avoid the longer route through qualifiers.
Siting COVID 19 reasons and personal fears, 10 West Indies players including their captain Jason Holder opted to stay at home. The depleted West Indies squad arrived in Bangladesh on 10th January and underwent 3-day strict quarantine. This will be visitors’ first ODI after a gap of 10 months and 2 weeks. They played their last ODI against Sri Lanka at Kandy on 1st March 2020. West Indies cricket board and fans will be expecting the new team to earn a win after a drought of 1 year since 11th Jan 2020.
BANGLADESH TEAM PREVIEW
BCB announced an 18-member squad for the series on 16th January. Bangladesh cricket team has received a huge boost after the inclusion of 33-year-old all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. Along with him Soumya Sarkar, pacer Rubel Hossain, and Taskin Ahmed have been brought back in the squad.
Tamim Iqbal will lead the squad for the series. Bangladesh has opted to go with a strong batting and bowling unit. Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, and Mahmudullah will be leading the middle order of this Bangladeshi unit. As far as the bowling department is concerned, Mustafizur Rehman will team up with Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam along with Rubel and Taskin.
The squad has three newcomers. BCB decided to include Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, and Mahedi Hasan to expose them to international Cricket. They have recently boosted their coaching department by the addition of Jon Lewis as their batting coach and Sohel Islam as a spin Consultant.
WEST INDIES TEAM PREVIEW
West Indies cricket board faced a debacle when 10 first-team players including captain Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, Roston Chase, and Shai Hope opted out siting COVID-19 and personal fear reasons. The board announced their 15-member squad on 29th December.
Board recalled Jason Mohammed and handed him the captaincy role for the ODI series. He will be teaming up with Sunil Ambris who has given the vice-captaincy role. Except for Alzarri Joseph and Rovman Powell – who has not played an ODI since 2018, all others are newcomers. West Indies team lost Hayden Walsh Jr. and all-rounder Romario Shepherd after their COVID test turned up Positive. Keon Harding was named as a replacement for Shepherd.
Thus, it will be a challenge for coach Phil Simmons to give a fight to the solid Bangladeshi team with the inexperienced players.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (C), Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mahamdullah, Afif Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam
West Indies: Jason Mohammed (C), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Keon Harding
Key players for the Bangladesh Vs West Indies ODI Series
Shakib Al Hasan – Shakib will be roaring to go on the pitch after the ban. One of the most experienced Bangladeshi players and ICC World no. 1 all-rounder will be under the radar of all the fans. Shakib scored a fifty in a practice game conducted before the 1st ODI.
Mahamudullah – With more than 4000 runs in 188 ODIs and 78 wickets with the ball Mahmudullah will be a key player in the Bangladeshi set-up.
Jason Mohammad – Mohammad Has not played an ODI since July 2018. Captaining the team, he will be looking forward to scoring runs to get his place back in the team once the regular player returns.
Alzarri Joseph – Joseph is the most experienced bowler in the unit. The 24-year-old pacer has played 28 games so far and has taken 48 wickets at an average of 28.58 and an economy of 5.90.
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