After almost one year of stagnation due to coronavirus pandemic, Bangladesh return to international cricket as they lock horns with West Indies in the first of three-match ODI series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday. The match is scheduled to start at 11:30am local time.
Bangladesh’s wait to return to international cricket couldn’t have gotten any longer. Despite the cricketing arena losing resume normal service and seeing semblance being embedded amidst the corona pandemic, the Bangladesh side continued to remain bereft of any cricketing action.
This match is a refreshing start for Bangladesh in a lot of aspects. With this game, Tigers fanatics will witness the return of premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan after his one-year ICC ban. Bangladesh will also play under a new leadership as Tamim Iqbal appointed ODI skipper last March.
Skipper Tamim will be braced with strong studded Bangladesh side in today’s (Wednesday) match. Shakib’s inclusion will be a massive boost for the Tigers as he will offer depth in both batting and bowling. Windies will be aware of the threat posed by Shakib Al Hasan and they will be looking to counter the Bangladesh star. Bangladesh’s strong middle order batting alongside a balanced bowling lineup will make Windies team scratching their heads.
Bangladesh do not only rely on spin anymore when it comes to bowling, Tigers have now got a lethal pace bowling unit which will surely possess a lot of threat to the Windies batsmen. With the likes of old pace guns, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed, new shining prospects like Shoriful Islam and Hassan Mahmud could make their debut.
On the other hand, the Windies are missing many key players due to the bio-bubble fatigue and they will be hoping to put up a good show in the series. A total of 10 West Indies players including ODI captain Keiron Pollard and Test captain Jason Holder skipped the tour due to Covid-19 fear, while two others remained absent for personal reasons, making it the weakest Caribbean team in the history.
West Indies will definitely be the underdogs. However, Bangladesh should not be complacent and take them lightly at all. On top of that, this series will be a part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, a league that offers direct qualifying spots to the top seven teams apart from hosts India for the next World Cup in 2023. All in all, a thrilling encounter awaits for the country’s cricket fanatics.