Gone are the days when a Test series involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is called as poor men’s Ashes. Despite the recent drawn Test series at home Bangladesh proved repeatedly over the years that they are a much better side than their African rivals.
The gulf of difference in rankings points between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the ninth and tenth ranked Test team with 61 and 13 points respectively, indicated that competition for the Tigers has now moved to elsewhere.
In recent years Bangladesh have targeted overtaking eighth placed West Indies in Test rankings and despite the recent setback against Zimbabwe they are not staying far behind from achieving this goal.
The forthcoming two-Test series provides Bangladesh an opportunity to leapfrog the Caribbean side finally and the Sakib al Hasan-led hosts are expected to leave no stone unturned for achieving their target.
However, it’s not just the ranking that should make Bangladesh feel motivated in the series, starting on Thursday in Chattogram.
The Tigers have plenty of causes to go into the series with full of energy and the revenge of their recent humiliation is just one of them.
West Indies took full advantage of their condition in recent series between the two teams in July, bowling out an underprepared Bangladesh for 43 runs in the first innings of the first Test – the lowest ever score by the side in its fledging history.
Bangladesh had no answer to their pace bowlers, who swung the ball at their will in Antigua, making Steve Rhodes, the coach of the visiting side, into believing that even 11 Ricky Pontings could not have taken his charges to 100-run mark.
Four West Indies pacers – Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel and Miguel Cummins – collectively took 29 wickets in two Tests, capitalizing on Bangladesh’s weakness against raw pace in red ball.
Though West Indies will miss the skipper Holder for injury in the upcoming series, they still have a fearsome pace attack that could always trouble Bangladesh.
But the Tigers have nullified a similar threat in the past and will look to their own strength, which is spin bowling, to the nightmare back to West Indies batsmen.
They had once avenged their 58-run dismissal to West Indies in one-day international by bowling out the side for 61 only in their third next meeting and a similar response was only now expected from the side.
‘[We are] expecting slower type of pitch. [I think it will be] normal surfaces here. Let’s see what happens,’ stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite told reporters in Chattogram on Monday after a drawn warm-up match.
Bangladesh, however, are not taking success guaranteed as coach Rhodes believed West Indies have capable batsmen to face spin threat.
‘Shai Hope I know he is in good nick. He is a batsman that we need to get rid of,’ Rhodes told reporters during a recent interaction.
‘And Hetmyer [Shimron] if he transformed some of his one-day form that he shown in India he could be a dangerous character for us as well,’ added Rhodes.
Source: New Age.