After winning the ODI series, high flying Bangladesh team embark on a new mission as they prepare to face host West Indies in the first T20I of the three-match series schedule to be held on Wednesday (July 1) at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts.
The match kicks off at 6 am (BST). After the humiliating Test series defeat against the Caribbean, Tigers needed confidence ahead of the series-ending three-match T20I series and they got it by winning the ODI series 2-1.
With the bat, dashing opener Tamim Iqbal, who scored two match winning centuries in the just concluded ODI series and was named the player of the match and player of the series, needs once again to flare up in the T20 and the responsibility will be on him to take the team off to a blazing start.
Tigers have the dependable batsman Mahmudullah, who played a blistering innings of Bangladesh’s series win match, in the middle and he has an ability to turn the fate of the match in any time.
Bangladesh side must be boosted by the return of their fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman ahead of the T20 series.
Mustafizur missed the T20 series against Afghanistan in June due to a toe injury suffered while playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League in May. He also missed a Test series in the West Indies but played a vital role in Bangladesh’s 2-1 win in their one-day series with five wickets in three matches.
Though the T20 format will not be easy for the Tigers because they will have to play without Mashrafe and secondly T20s are the West Indies’ strongest suit. Now the responsibility will be on Shakib Al Hasan as well as the youngsters to fill the absence of Mashrafe.
West Indies have a good record against Bangladesh in T20 cricket, West Indies have won three and Bangladesh 2 out of six matches they have played against each other, while one game ended-up without any result.
West Indies have a batsman like Chris Gayle Samuel Badree, Andre Fletcher, Carlos Brathwaite and Denesh Ramdin likely to get in to strengthen the squad. It will certainly be a much tougher challenge than the one that was posed before the Bangladesh team over the past week.
Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Liton Das, Ariful Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Abu Hider, Mosaddek Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Tamim Iqbal, Nazmul Islam, Abu Jayed, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket keeper), Mustafizur Rahman, Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar.
West Indies squad:
Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wicket keeper), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell and Andre Russell.-BSS