Friday, 21 June, 2019

West Indies: Favourite in T20 Series

Published on: 5:35 pm - Monday | July 30, 2018

Bangladesh Cricket team has mixed performance so far in the tour of West Indies. After getting bruised, battered and humiliated in the uneven contest in the test series they had opportunity for white washing West Indies in their favoured format ODI.

Just for momentary loss of concentration, they lost the second ODI by 3 runs from a winning position .Winning the first by 48 Runs and the last by 18 runs, they won the series 2-1. The expected ODI series win has created momentum for the team tigers to perform better in the three matches T20 series against a very strong West Indies team starting from tomorrow at St Kitts. The other two matches will be played at Florida of USA.

West Indies is the ICC T20  reigning champion though many of their leading players like Darren Sammy , Daren Bravo , Dwayne Bravo , Pollard , Narine are not in the present team . But with T20 specialists like Gayle, Lewis, Holder, Russel West Indies is still very strong. Bangladesh on the other hand does not have impressive records in this format. In the recent past, they were white washed even by Afghanistan. Unfortunately surprising retirement of inspiring Captain Mashrafee from T20 international has some how stalled the gradual progress of the team in international level.

Bangladesh Organise BPL and West Indians have CPL. BPL is the only completion of Bangladesh where many local players are exposed to sharing dressing rooms and rubbing shoulders with quality international players. Some Bangladeshis like Shakib, Tamim, Mahmudullah and Mustafiz also play in T20 franchise of other countries. While West Indies are ICC leaders in the format Bangladesh is in rock bottom.

It is frustrating that while all countries including Afghanistan have benefited from T20 franchise Bangladesh failed to even organise a good competitive T20 team. We play T20 in test mood and tests in T20 mood. For lack of quality players, we could not establish specialists in different formats. It has to be the same group of players appearing as key players in all formats .If they perform, we win matches few and far between, if not we embrace defeat.

There was a genuine feeling that under Mashrafee leadership Bangladesh in T20 was also developing in to fighting unit .But for reasons best known to BCB Mashrafee announced emotional retirement from T20 international during the T20 series in Sri Lanka. None came with explanation at all. Since his retirement every thing appears topsy-turvy with Bangladesh team in T20. We are not sure how long it may take turning around .Mashrafee is still active in BPL and he led his franchise in winning three of the four BPL tournament held so far. Absence of his quality bowling and leadership could not be replaced.

We are aware that top West Indian players dominate T20 franchise all over the world. But for some issues, few of the top West Indian players for a while did not appear for the West Indies team in recent time. But even then present West Indies is also reasonably strong to be considered as favourite in the series.

We are aware that for different issues the former Bangladesh head coach was not Seeing Eye to eye with senior Bangladeshi players. There are rumours that he was pleading for some senior players like Mashrafee, Tamim, Mushfique and Mahmudullah plan their own exit. Rumour also goes that this came up for discussion in an informal meeting with BCB President during the visit in Sri Lanka. It was widely reported in media that Mashrafee decision for quitting T20 international was surprisingly announced after such reported incident. Haturasinghe left Bangladesh’s responsibility in irresponsible and unprofessional manner. He is no longer there. New head coach and coaching staff have taken over .Mashrafee is fit and is still looking good for the shorter version of the game. He even expressed willingness to play test. We are sure he can be persuaded for returning to T20 international. That will benefit team, players and even the present captain Shakib. He can concentrate more on his own batting and bowling. There is proven track records that with Mashrafee at the helm of affairs Bangladesh looks a different unit

Bangladesh Squad for T20 Series:

Shakib Al Hasan (capt), TamimIqbal, SoumyaSarkar, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, SabbirRahman, MahmudullahRiyad, MosaddekHossain, MehediHasan, Nazmul Islam Apu, RubelHossain, MustafizurRahman, Abu Haider, Abu Jayed, ArifulHaque.

Even with Mashrafee not there the onus will be greatly on the rest of the fabulous four Shakib ,Tamim , Mushfique and Mahmudullah . Fortunately all four are now in prolific form with the bat .Some others like Soumya, Sabbir ,Mosaddeq and Ariful have to raise their game to reasonable height if Bangladesh has to compete in the series . The recent form of Soumya in Bangladesh playing for a team was not encouraging. Selectors stated that team management wanted him there. May be Anamul failed to impress them led to team management requesting for him. Soumya was due to go to Ireland with Bangladesh A team. But he is a better bet on pacey and bouncy wickets. Hopefully, he can be an ideal partner of tweeting Tamim. Sabbir is the luckiest person in the cricket world in appearing in international matches although being banned from domestic cricket for his attitude. This series will be his last chance to redeem. Liton Das showed his T20 in test cricket. Hopefully, he can produce some quality innings .Ariful should be in the lower order as finisher.

Mustafiz and Rubel bowled reasonably well in ODI .Mashrafee used them intelligently .Hopefully, Shakinb would also handle them well. Either Rahi or Rony would be picked as third seamer. But would personally suggest playing Nazmul Islam Opu as third specialist spinner.

As has been discussed above even the present West Indian team with Gayle , Lewis , Baraithwaitee , Hetmeyer , Holder , Roach and Gabriel is very strong in T20 . We hope Bangladesh competes and competes well.

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