Bangladesh insisted that they have no reason to feel worried about West Indies’ fearsome pace bowling or explosive batting when the two teams meet in their next World Cup match in Taunton on June 17.
Bangladesh will go to the match as clear favourites, having won seven of their nine matches against the side since 2018 in all conditions, but West Indies are always often a different outfit in major tournaments.
The Caribbean have shown in the past that they can turn the form book upside down on big occasions and with some players with the ability to generate sheer pace they are a threat for every side in this World Cup.
Pakistan saw how the pace attack of West Indies comprising the likes of Jason Holder, Shannon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas can burn a batting line up to ashes when they bowled the side out for just 105 runs.
But West Indies are not just pace, rather a package of power cricket, who are backed by some people to break the 500-run barrier in this tournament. In Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmeyer and Andre Russell they have some exclusive batsmen who can destroy any team.
Bangladesh had seen them all in the past one-year and came out victorious against them on most of the occasions.
They defeated West Indies on three consecutive occasions in the recent tri-nation tournament, though more than half members of West Indies’ World Cup squad were absent in the competition.
This is the only factor that would give West Indies some confidence before their World Cup match in Taunton.
The short ground at the home of Somerset county club also may suit West Indies more than Bangladesh, but the Tigers’ coach Steve Rhodes said there could not be a single the reason that would make his charges feeling intimidated.
‘Of course, we’ve all seen what they have done, but not just the West Indies. There’s a lot of the other teams, as well. England have shown that sort of potency or attack method in this World Cup so far,’ Rhodes said referring to different teams’ short-ball tactics against Bangladesh.
‘We’ve got certain ways of dealing with that. I’m very, very happy with the way we play the white ball, particularly, when it’s short.
‘We’ve played against the West Indies bowlers, recently, as well, out in Ireland. Certainly Oshane Thomas, as well, when we played against him in Bangladesh just before Christmas.
‘So we are well aware of what they have got and we know what’s coming and we’ve got some plans to try and deal with that,’ he said.
Thomas, who bounced out Pakistan with 4-27, was not part of West Indies’ tri-series team but two matches against Bangladesh in December when conceded over five runs in both matches to get just four wickets.
Bangladesh are similarly confident about stopping Andre Russell form making a serious damage despite his recent form made him a potential threat.
Russell, who was at his terrific best during recent Indian Premier League, played seven one-day internationals so far against Bangladesh to make only 31 runs with 13 being his highest.
Rhodes said many other teams in the World Cup have similar power hitters and Bangladesh are aware of how to deal with them.
‘One of their most explosive players are Andre Russell, and he’s a formidable opponent. He’s one of the best hitters in the game, by far, and on his day, he can be very, very difficult to bowl at,’ said Rhodes.
‘So he can take a game away from you, but they have others, like all these international teams. We’d expect the opposition. But… we know we’ve got some good players ourselves, so we won’t be worrying too much about who we’re playing against and we’ll be hopeful that they are going to worry about some of our players,’ he added.
Source: New Age.