25th February 2020! Yes, that was the last day Bangladesh played a Test match. No other team has suffered a lot from a pandemic than Bangladesh. Almost a year after they will be hosting the West Indies team for a two-test match series as a part of the World Test Championship. Both West Indies and Bangladesh are placed at the bottom of the Test Championship points table at 8th and 9th place respectively. Bangladesh team which has played 3 tests in the Championship is yet to register a win. West Indies has a slightly better record than their opponents. They have won a test out of seven they played in the Championship. Therefore, the upcoming series will be the most important for both teams to overcome from the shadow of losses.
The first test will be played at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram between 3rd to 7th February. West Indies 29th December 2020, Cricket West Indies finally announced a 15-men squad after ten main team players opted out from travelling to Bangladesh amidst the COVID scare. On the other hand, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) put up their strongest squad on paper against the visitors. Shakib Al Hasan made a comeback in the squad after finishing his suspension given by ICC.
Hosts Bangladesh will be surfing on the high tide before the first test. They won the 3 ODI series comfortably. The team will try to emulate the ODI series performance in the Test Series. They have also won the last two tests played against West Indies in 2018 when the West Indies team toured Bangladesh.
Bangladesh must be confident after a thumping win by 3-0 in the ODI series against a depleted West Indian squad. Bangladesh finally announced their squad Test series amid a practice match between West Indies and Bangladesh Cricket Board XI. The best news about Bangladesh is that their star player Shakib al Hasan is fit and back in the 18 men Test squad. Shakib has received from the groin injury he suffered in the 3rd ODI. 25. Shadab Aslam – the 25-year-old opening batsman – has been added to the squad as well. Yasir Ali, a middle-order batsman, and Hasan Mahmud, a pace bowler has been added to the squad. The team will be captained by Mominul Haque and will be looking to continue the successful run in the series at home conditions against not so formidable opponents.
Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Saif Hassan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Shadman Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadat Hossain, Hasan Mahmud.
10 first-team players including captain Jason Holder, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, and Shai Hope gave their unavailability siting COVID reasons. After failing to convince these players to travel Cricket West Indies finally announced their 15-men squad with 4 newcomers and 4 players with 1 or 2 test matches experience.
Kraigg Brathwaite has been given the responsibility of captaining the team. He will be helped by Jermaine Blackwood acting as a vice-captain. John Campbell will most probably open the innings with Brathwaite.
One positive thing West Indies have is their full bowling unit available for the test series. Kemar Roach will lead the bowling unit with Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph. Jomel Warrican and Veerasammy Permaul will have a massive responsibility on their shoulder for turning the ball in the absence of Roston Chase. Raymon Reifer will be back in the first-team squad after his good performances in the ODI series, with the big guy Rahkeem Cornwall. Jomel Warrican is likely to take the gloves behind the wicket.
It will be a tough task for coach Phil Simmons and Captain Brathwaite to produce a fight against the hosts
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (C), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Raymon Reifer, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Jomel Warrican, Kemar Roach.
Shakib Al Hasan – After all, he is Bangladesh’s All-time great all-rounder. Coming after a ban he will be eager to take the bat and ball in hand in the longest format of cricket. He showed his magic in the ODI series with bat and ball to help Bangladesh win the series. No doubt he will be the player to look out for.
Mominul Haque – Bangladesh Captain Haque has a chance to become the first Bangladeshi player to score 10 centuries in the history of test cricket. He is coming to the series with a century in the last test played against Zimbabwe. He has a chance to score 3000 runs for Bangladesh.
Kraigg Brathwaite – With a responsibility of captaincy on the shoulder Brathwaite will be a key player from the West Indies squad. A captain’s knock to give confidence in the team will be expected from him.
Shannon Gabriel – With 150 wickets in the pocket in 50 tests Gabriel can swing the test in favour of the Windies.