Bangladesh vs West Indies: Almost have way into the league stage, the points table looks precisely how it was envisaged. India & New Zealand are unbeaten, Australia & England look at their dominant best. Teams that were expected to be the “dark horses” have shown quality but have faltered in crucial places. Bangladesh & West Indies both have similar qualities, West Indies slightly more refined but if two teams were to be counted on, to upset the bigger teams it would be these two. However, after positive starts to their respective World Cup campaigns the Windies & the Bangla boys find themselves in a tight spot. The Windies have registered only a single win & took a solitary point in the rain-effected game. Bangladesh, on the other hand, set out brilliantly against South Africa but seemed to have lost the plot somewhere.
The teams have dittoed each other as far as the points are concerned. Windies after a massive win in their tournament opener find themselves on the positive side of the net-run-rate. West Indies sort of had a reality check against England & to stay in the hunt, the Windies have to deal fire with ice. Not their usual way to go about but it’s unassuredly the need of the hour.
Andre Russell is a world beater without a doubt but if more sense could prevail whilst he batted, the Windies would have been much closer to the top 4. Against Australia, when the team needed him to bat sensibly, Russell threw the kitchen sink, played a nothing shot & his wicket cost them the game. When they took on the Englishmen, Nicolas Pooran, at one end was showing great temperament, churning the strike & was keeping the scoreboard ticking. After they lost Jason Holder, all Russell had to do was find gaps, play the waiting game & then go berserk in the last 5-6 overs. The all-rounder after being dropped once, chose to slog his way out, only managing to find the man at deep mid-wicket. It’s so blatantly clear. If the West Indies desire to claim a spot in the semi-finals, the big names have to be held accountable.
He can clock 90mph, he can hit the ball into the stands with relative ease but he looks as brittle as glass. The team physio is probably at his busiest when Russell is on the field. Russell is a game changer, a match winner, but if he doesn’t apply some brains when he’s out in the middle, all the accolades he’s garnered will seem sloppy. The big question though, can he remain fit for this contest?
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When: 17th June 2019, Monday
Where: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Kick-Off: 3:00 PM IST
Bangladesh have never beaten West Indies in a World Cup match. They’ve lost in 1999, 2007 & 2011. The overall record between the two teams also favours the Windies. The margin there, a 21-14 advantage to the Windies. In England, the teams played have met once. In the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 where West Indies won the game comfortably by 138 runs.
Only 5 games have been played at this venue & all of them have been World Cup fixtures. The ground has seen scores in the range of 172 to 373. Afghanistan were bundled out for a mere 172 this year against the Kiwis, while in the other fixture at this venue between Australia & Pakistan 573 runs were scored. Pacers have had a better time here. Mohammad Amir & Jimmy Neesham picked 5/30 & 5/31 respectively.
Andre Russell isn’t certain to start. His problem with the knee & the wrist continues to keep the Windies’ playing combination on hold. Evin Lewis has scored 3 runs in the two games he’s opened & he’s likely to make way for Darren Bravo who can provide more stability to their middle-order. Carlos Braithwaite has had a futile campaign. If Russell doesn’t make it to the squad, Braithwaite can sneak into the playing XI, else, Kemar Roach is a probable option.
Bangladesh are very unlikely to tweak with their playing XI. They’re expected to go with the same eleven that took the field against England.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Musfhiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun. Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Rubel Hossain, Mushrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmeyer, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite/Kemar Roach, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.
FANTASY CRICKET TIPS FOR BANGLADESH vs WEST INDIES
Tip 1: The West Indies pacers have been in fine form this World Cup. The likes of Oshane Thomas & Sheldon Cottrell have bowled at high speeds & with a lot of discipline. Picking more bowlers from the Windies line-up would convey the impression of smart “fantasy cricket” thinking. Sheldon Cottrell has been good against the left-handers while all 6 of Oshane Thomas’ wickets have been right-handers.
Tip 2: Shakib Al Hasan & Shai Hope as choices for captain & vice-captain. Hope’s record against Bangladesh in mind-boggling. He’s scored 662 runs against them in 9 innings – 3 hundreds & 3 fifties. His average in the 9 games, a Bradman-esque 94.57.
Shakib after his promotion to number 3, has looked phenomenal. His hundred against England & against the likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood & Chris Woakes speaks volumes about his ability to score against the moving ball. The southpaw averages 45.92 & has picked 16 wickets against the West Indies.
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