Thursday, October 20, 2011

Preview, 1st Test, Bangladesh versus West Indies, Chittagong

If this Test match, and series was a boxing contest, it would be on the under card. Due to most eyes being on the heavy weight clashes going on between Indian and England and South Africa and Australia respectively. Though don't be fooled into not watching, for it has just as much intrigue as the other contests

Lets put some of that intrigue into words by firstly looking at Bangladesh


Likely Team

The most conjecture in the lead up was about the omission of Abdur Razzak and in particular Mohammad Ashraful. Who has made everyone know about his displeasure about being dropped. Then other players like the talented quick Shafiul Islam and big hearted all rounder Mahmudullah Riyad will be missed due to injury and illness. I was hoping to see a batsman that I thought had talent in Jahurul Islam picked in the Squad, but he has also been over looked.

Nasir Hossain, a young all rounder showed a bit of ability in the ODI series. So I will be interested to see how he goes in the toughest form of the game.

This is the likely side

Tamim Iqbal,  Imrul Kayes,  Shahriar Nafees,  Raqibul Hasan,  Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim,  Naeem Islam,  Nasir Hossain,  Elias Sunny,  Rubel Hossain,  Shahadat Hossain.

Key To Winning the Test

The biggest concern for Bangladesh is not in a playing sense, but how the players react to the axing of Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal as the Teams leaders. Mushfiqur Rahim was inserted in their place, and going on the response from the players in the ODI series, who showed a welcoming attitude to him as Captain. He might indeed be an inspired choice as leader.

On the field, the biggest concern for the Tigers is their hari kari batting. That is in no way suited to the demands in application and temperament of Test Cricket. Only Tamim Iqbal, Shakib and to a lesser extent Mushfiqur have shown any real Test class from a batting point of view. So duly the Team will rely on their class to carry the Team.

Shahriar Nafees, who is viewed so highly in Baglandesh needs to start justifying that belief in him by scoring some meaningful runs for the Team.

The bowling side of things shows more promise. Particularly in the spin friendly conditions of Bangladesh conditions, where their host of spinners have the ability to cast their spell over the West Indian batting.

This being said about Bangladesh's strength in spin, a real diamond could be found in this series for the Tigers in the young quick Rubel Hossain. His record after 7 Tests hardly lends itself to any belief in him, but figures are often like a woman's skirt. In regards to they cover more than they reveal.

So look for him to be a factor in this series, and announce himself as a very worthy Test bowler

West Indies

Likely Team

Every time a Windies squad is selected most of the remarks are on who isn't in the squad more than who is in it. Mostly focussing on Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo's absence from the Team. Great loses indeed, but maybe it is time to move on from these names, and focus on the men in the Team.

The main talk about the line up is over who will be Llendl Simmons opening partner with the options being either Kieron Powell or the young Barbados prodigy in 18 year old Kraigg Braithwaithe. The selectors could go either way, but it is hoped that Braithwaite gets a chance.

Keeping this in mind, this would be my Team.

Lendl Simmons, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo  Marlon Samuels,  Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Darren Sammy, Carlton Baugh,  Ravi Rampaul,  Kemar Roach,  Devendra Bishoo.

Key to win the Game

The biggest query on the West Indies is the fragility in their batting. Especially against spin bowling as shown in the line ups clueless nature against it in the series against Pakistan. Underlined by the fact that of the 40 West Indies wickets to fall in the 2 Test series. 32 were taken by spinners with Saeed Ajmal dominating with 17 wickets at an average of 14.47

A key man to counter this is Marlon Samuels, who in his career has been a chronic under achiever with the immense ability he has, but is arguably the West Indies most complete batsman. He has a huge role in this series to be a factor to add some class to a rather average batting line up.

Helping him in this cause is the man seen as one of the brightest talents to come out of the Caribbean for a while in Darren Bravo. He has threatened to announce himself to impending greatness for a while, and it wouldn't surprise at all to see him do that in this series.

The bowling inspires more confidence with the Captain and big hearted Darren Sammy leading the attack with his heady medium pace. Then being supported by the much improve Ravi Rampaul, and the young tear away quick Kemar Roach. Who if he gets it right can be expected to make a few of the Tigers batsmen jump with his pace.

Then the attack is rounded out beautifully by the talented leg spinner Devendra Bishoo, who is such a breath of fresh air with his adherence to bowling spin in a traditional manner.

In this series, he looms large as a bowler who could cut through Bangladesh's batting, like a hot knife through butter


Unless rain intervenes, there will be a result in this match.

This due to the craven deficiencies in both batting line ups for the demands on Test cricket.

The bowling line ups are similar with the West Indies bowlers having an edge in class, but it being equalled out by the conditions supporting the Tigers spinners.

So it might come down to a Test decided by the toss. In regards to if Bangladesh can bat first. It will allow them to fully victimise the Windies batting clueless nature against spin with the support of a wearing pitch.

Duly it is a coin toss, but I just have the feeling that the Tigers might win this Test