Bangladesh Captain Mashrafe Mortaza says his team’s reputation in limited overs cricket is not to be taken lightly; as the visitors prepare for the first ODI versus Windies on Sunday at the Providence National Stadium.
Bangladesh arrived in Guyana on Friday night, looking for a new start in a new format following a nightmare 2-0 loss in the Test.
Windies star-studded team including Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Evin Lewis and others, will be a force to reckon with.
Mortaza, who has been one of the driving forces behind the teams success in limited overs cricket, said during the pre-match training session at Providence on Saturday, that the Tigers were tailor-made for banking on their track record.
“I think this format suits us a lot and we have a good combination. West Indies have two good batsmen at the top but we have to be positive and do what we can do to win like bowling in the right areas and we can get their top order out then we can have some fun’, said the Bangladesh Captain.
As an experienced campaigner with 187 ODI’s under his belt and 238 wickets to his credit, the 34 year-old said his past experience having played at Providence back in 2007 will be key for his team as they look to set a decent target should they bat first. “I played a long time here, back in 2007 so I’m not sure what to expect but I think around 250 or 260 can be a good score.”
The Skipper pointed out that the experienced pair of batters in all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan and wicket-keeper/batsman Mushfiqur Rahim have been doing their jobs for the team and he expects the rest of the team to lend support to the two senior players along with explosive opener Tamim Iqbal.
Meanwhile, Windies Captain Jason Holder said that he was fixed on maintaining the same form the team has exhibited in the Test series. He noted that while the shift in format requires some sort of transition, his team and the players are more than ready to get their 2019 World Cup campaign underway with a win in the ODI series.
The two teams endured a few days of vigorous practice and net sessions as they sought to keenly transition from Test to 50-Over mode.
Gayle, Russell, Guyanese Keemo Paul, Devendra Bishoo and Shimron Hetmyer all had good net sessions on Saturday under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Stuart Law, Toby Radford, Corey Collymore and others.
Russell returns to the ODI side since 2015 while Gayle has had a mixed past few months but will still play a key role for his team throughout the limited overs series.
Bangladesh conducted their session shortly after lunch under the guidance of former West Indies pacer turned Coach Courtney Walsh, who ensured his players got an adequate feel of Providence and its conditions with just hours left to the start of the ODI series.
Sunday’s first of 2 ODI’s at Providence bowls off from 9:30h. (Clifton Ross)