Banking on a good form against the Windies, Bangladesh will be hoping to win their all-important match of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019. The team had entered the tournament with a riveting win of 21 runs against South Africa. However, they couldn’t continue to keep their winning streak up and lost two consecutive matches. The last match against Sri Lanka was left abandoned due to inclement weather at Bristol County Ground. The Tigers’ skipper Mashrafe Mortaza is satisfied with Mehidy Hasan’s bowling in the past games against the Windies.
When it comes to the game against Windies, Bangladesh seems to be too comfortable. In the last two years, they have won seven of nine ODIs versus Windies. In 2018, Bangladesh landed in on Caribbean shores only to defeat them in the ODI series by 2-1. The Tigers then emerged victorious again by 2-1 when the Caribbeans toured Bangladesh.
Bangladesh skipper plans on taking wickets to beat West Indies
Before the premier tournament took a toll, Bangladesh participated in ODI tri-series in Ireland. And they won all the three matches they played against West Indies, eventually winning the trophy.
Nonetheless, the recent victorious encounters haven’t sent Bangladesh soaring up high in the sky. The skipper Mortaza plans on assessing the weaknesses and strengths of Windies players.
In the tournament as big as the ICC World Cup every team plays differently. And Mortaza knows this very well and he plans on understanding their opponent’s game instead of being overconfident with the past victories.
“We have faced their main bowling attack, but we can’t relax because of that. We have to understand that it is a new game,” he said.
“In tournaments like this, you have to plan differently for each team. You can’t just stick to one type of mindset. We can’t expect it to be an easy win because of winning seven out of nine matches,” said Mortaza.
Both the teams had won one match each and lost two whereas, one got affected due to rain. The ‘Narail Express’ of Bangladesh feels that taking quick wickets is the only way to outrun Windies. He said that even the Caribbean mishits account for them.
“Most opponents plan about West Indies’ batting, because of how they mostly adopt the T20 style of play in ODIs. Bowlers will have a hard time if they get going, so we have to be strict in our planning,” he said.
“We have to calm our nerves in difficult situations. The positive part is that playing lots of shots gives us chances. There’s no alternative to taking wickets against the West Indies because they can cause serious damage.”
Bangladesh plans to use offspinners to win in the next game:
Mashrafe is well aware of the damage that the Caribbeans can cause on their given day. But he has also analysed their past encounters with them. He said using good off-spinners would definitely come handy against the Caribbean force.
“I think bowling offspin is very important when we think of attacking them,” said Mortaza. “Obviously, we’ve been quite successful against them with some offspinners.”
Further discussing the strategies, the 35-years-old skipper plans on using Mehidy Hasan Miraz in their fifth clash. And the miniature County Ground in Taunton will give good access to the batsmen of either team to score big.
However, the bowler like Mehidy gives the Windies players a tough time on the ground. The offspinner has taken 12 wickets (in ODIs) against West Indies at an excellent economy rate of 3.86 an over.
“And if you look at recently, I think, Mehidy bowled really well against them. And he’s bowling so well in this World Cup as well. Obviously, the top five West Indies are left-handers, Mehidy bowled against them really well. So it’s a positive sign,” he added.
In Mortaza’s estimation, getting wickets is the only way to stop the Windies. Being the fifth game and having just one win, the game is quite important to both the teams.
Bangladesh has a good ODI attack record against the Windies. But the Caribbeans have shown their actual game in the previous encounters against the big teams like Pakistan. They fought tooth and nails against Australia whereas, defeated Pakistan in just 14 overs.