Sun | Dec 4, 2022

Brathwaite won’t take struggling Bangladesh lightly

Published:Thursday | June 16, 2022 | 12:12 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
West Indies’ bowler Kemar Roach reacts with captain Kraigg Brathwaite during a Test match against Sri Lanka in Antigua. Roach is back in the West Indies squad after recovering from injury.
West Indies’ bowler Kemar Roach reacts with captain Kraigg Brathwaite during a Test match against Sri Lanka in Antigua. Roach is back in the West Indies squad after recovering from injury.

AFTER DIGESTING a couple of weeks of white-ball cricket, the West Indies red-ball Test team will get some much-needed action as they take on Bangladesh in the first match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua starting at 9:00 a.m. this morning.

The last time captain Kraigg Brathwaite led his team, they chalked up a remarkable 2-1 series win over England on home soil in March, and the Barbadian is hoping to ride that momentum into the Bangladesh series.

There is not a lot that is going in favour of the visitors, who had a torrid time the last time they were in Antigua back in 2018. They were blown away for under 50 runs in their first innings, with Kemar Roach bagging five wickets.

Roach is in the squad once again, passing a late fitness test following a concern he had playing for Surrey in the English County Championship.

The Bangladeshis, who are coming off heavy defeats to Sri Lanka and South Africa, will also be without the prolific bat of veteran Mushfiqur Rahim and Yasir Ali, who have been ruled out with injury.

Despite the setbacks, Brathwaite still believes the visitors will put up a fight with new captain Shakib Al Hasan leading their charge following the resignation of Mominul Haque.

“The biggest thing for me is that we can’t underestimate them just because they are not in the top three in the world. It doesn’t mean we are going to roll over them. I think as batters and bowlers we have to stay disciplined and we have to work hard,” said Brathwaite.

The West Indies will have some thinking to do regarding the make-up of their playing 11. With all-rounder Jason Holder not included, all-rounder Raymon Reifer and veteran Devon Thomas could be in contention.

For Bangladesh, captain Al Hasan, spin, could very well play a major role in the Test match, and with that, they will be banking on their slow bowlers to factor over the five days of cricket.

“The wicket looks to be a better one than four years ago for batting. The fourth innings will be harder to bat, and I think the spinners will come into play. It is going to be important how well you bat in the first innings. Whether we bat or bowl first, it doesn’t make a difference. We have to do it well,” said Al Hasan.

West Indies (probable): 1 Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), 2 John Campbell, 3 Nkrumah Bonner, 4 Jermaine Blackwood, 5 Kyle Mayers, 6 Joshua Da Silva (wk), 7 Devon Thomas, 8 Raymon Reifer, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Anderson Philip/Kemar Roach, 11 Jayden Seales

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Mahmudul Hasan Joy, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Litton Das (wk), 7 Nurul Hasan, 8 Mosaddek Hossain, 9 Taijul Islam, 10 Khaled Ahmed, 11 Ebadot Hossain