[www.inewsguyana.com] – West Indies have more to play for in the first Test at Arnos Vale, since Bangladesh are only looking to get out with two drawn Test matches.
West Indies are the team in form, having crushed the visitors 3-0 in the ODI series. More crucially, they have to bounce back from the 2-1 defeat to New Zealand in their only Test series of the year so far.
Denesh Ramdin would like to use some of his ODI form in this series, his second as Captain. The 169 in the second ODI aside, he has been in fairly good form since 2012, having struck three centuries and as many fifties in Tests. He would also be inclined to rely on Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo to hold the batting together.
Younger batsmen like Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood would be expected to settle in with big scores, having done well against Bangladeshi sides in the recent past.
The visitors’ humble goal is particularly down to their own ordinary form and having to play without the suspended Shakib Al Hasan. Some of their batsmen have shown improvement in the last two innings, in the third ODI and the only innings in the three-day warm-up match against St Kitts & Nevis.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain got hundreds while Tamim Iqbal finally broke his long streak of sub-50 scores in international cricket. Surprisingly, Mominul Haque’s place in the team is being reconsidered after just two low scores in international cricket. He has scored three hundreds in Bangladesh’s last four Test matches, and has batted with a lot more assurance than many of his teammates.
Apart from selection confusion, Bangladesh’s bowling attack is also going to slow them down. Rubel Hossain is the only bowler to have played more than 15 Tests, and his bowling average is a dismal 81.23, the worst among all bowlers who have delivered more than 3000 balls in Test cricket.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam is most likely to make his Test debut, in which case he will be selected ahead of Elias Sunny, who has only just arrived in St Vincent to replace Sohag Gazi.
Mahmudullah will have to step up and show some experience, having taken eight wickets at this ground on his Test debut five years ago. Al-Amin Hossain’s wickets in the ODI series will be considered a sliver of hope.
While Bangladesh can pick eight recognised batsmen, West Indies might have to push Test newcomer Jason Holder up to No 7. Some might say their tail starts early but Holder has shown he can bat, particularly when he made a fifty in his debut Test in June.