Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Bangladesh, West Indies seek to turn campaign around

ESPNCricInfo
17 Jun 2019, 04:42 GMT+10

West Indies LLWLL

In the spotlight

West Indies came into this World Cup as everyone's dark horses for the incredible firepower they hold, in batting and bowling, but one creaking knee could put that all out of joint. Andre Russell is so central to their team balance that it's a wonder they haven't insured his knees. He can still crank up 140-plus kph when bowling and his batting, of course, can hit levels unseen. But almost every game, he has limped, trod gingerly, and looked like duct tape is all that's holding him together. Can he hold his body together? He didn't train on match eve, so that's not looking too positive, though Jason Holder emphasised that a call on Russell would be taken only on match morning.

Almost silently, Shakib Al Hasan has been on the fast-track to be on a Player-of-the-Tournament shortlist. He's made 75, 64 and 121 while batting, and he had good figures with the ball against South Africa and New Zealand. The promotion to No.3 while batting has worked out wonderfully and Shakib will once again be central to Bangladesh's performance.

Team news

Bangladesh will likely stick with the XI that played against England. They might be tempted to give Rubel Hossain a go, but it's difficult to see whom he'd replace, with Mohammad Saifuddin having been impressive in the outings he's had.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mohammad Mithun, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Mustafizur Rahman

West Indies opted to go without Ashley Nurse against England, choosing an all-pace attack. They have the incentive of the short-ball tactic likely to bear more fruit against Bangladesh than it did against England. One option could be to leave Carlos Brathwaite out. He's batting low and doesn't have that much opportunity to make an impact, and he's not amongst the first few bowlers Jason Holder turns to. But if Russell pulls up unfit, then Brathwaite becomes more important in the XI. West Indies might also ponder bringing back Darren Bravo in place of the mis-firing Evin Lewis.

West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Shai Hope (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Jason Holder (capt), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Carlos Brathwaite, 9 Sheldon Cottrell, 10 Oshane Thomas, 11 Shannon Gabriel

Pitch and conditions

The pitch has a healthy tinge of green on it. There were spots of rain on match eve, but nothing to cause serious concern. The forecast looks promising, rain-wise, for match-day. It's not going to be too sunny though, with the only 'periods of sun' expected.

Pacers have had a better time of it at Taunton than spinners, though it's not proved to be batting unfriendly. Australia made 300-plus against Pakistan after looking good for possibly 350 at one stage, and Pakistan threatened to chase it down before falling short.

Strategy puntStats and triviaQuotes

"If you want to put us in the underdog category, fair enough."

Jason Holder is perfectly fine if West Indies aren't considered the favourites due to the two teams' recent head-to-head records.

"Both teams have got the same points. But I think it's time to think about ourselves only."

Mashrafe Mortaza is not being selfish, he's just asking his team to focus on their own game-plans instead of worrying about the opposition.

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