Bangladesh will host the West Indies in the opening Test of the two-matches Test series. Both teams have already been eliminated from the World Test Championship.
Match Timings: Feb 03, 9 AM IST
After a one-sided ODI series, Bangladesh and West Indies kick off its WTC campaign with two matches Test series. 120 WTC points will be at stake. Points will not affect either Bangladesh or West Indies as both teams have been eliminated from the finals. West Indies looked decent in WTC 2019-21 but didn’t mark a huge impact. Out of seven Tests, West Indies lost six matches, and two defeats came at home. In a previous outing against New Zealand, they were outplayed in both games. Their memorable victory came in England when the Holder-led side defeated England in Manchester. This West Indies side will be without its skipper Jason Holder, and major players haven’t been included in the main squad. The Test squad will be led by Brathwaite, who has been a key figure in West Indies’ batting lineup. Kavem Hodge, the right-handed top-order batsman, has also been included in the squad for the first time. Left-handed batsman Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers will also play Test for the first time.
From the previous Test squad, they have retained few players, especially the pace trio Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, and Kemar Roach. Rahkeem Cornwall will be the main spinner in the side. Jermaine Blackwood is the vice-captain of the side, and he will have the responsibility in the batting lineup. Blackwood was in good touch on the New Zealand tour, where he scored 216 runs, including a century. They had played a warm-up game before the first Test, which ended in a draw. The stand-in skipper scored a fine 85 in the first innings, and Nkrumah Bonner scored 80 in the 2nd innings. John Campbell scored 44 and 68 in the draw game. Rakheem Cornwall bagged a 5-wicket haul in the first innings, and Joshua Da Silva impressed as the wicket-keeper. Windies can surprise the hosts, but they have to enter with a better mindset against the spin. Jomel Warrican may get his name in the final XI considering his left-arm spin.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is entering with the tag of favourites, and they are a dangerous side at home. They have included two uncapped players in the squad. After making a debut in the ODI series, Mahmud earned the Test call-up as well. In 14 first-class matches, he bagged 37 wickets at an average of 33.91. Yasir Ali Chowdhury is another uncapped player who has scored 3542 runs in 51 first-class matches at an average of 51.33. Former skipper Shakib recovered from a groin injury, and he will play the first Test. Shakib was outstanding in his comeback series and picked 6 wickets in the ODI series. Bangladesh hasn’t played a Test since February 2020, and last they played Zimbabwe. The hosts have played just three matches in WTC 2019-21 and lost all three. With a better spin-attack, Bangladesh are the most-balanced unit. They have the finest batting lineup with the players like Tamim, Shakib, and Mushfiqur. West Indies have to play out of its skin to defeat hosts in the first test.
Chattogram’s track offers full assistance to the spin. Batsmen can have a laugh on the first three days, and later, the pitch will get slow. Chasing in the 4th innings will be the toughest task on Chattogram.
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood, Sheyne Moseley, Nkrumah Bonner, Kavem Hodge, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jomel Warrican/Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Rahkeem Cornwall
Mominul Haque (c), Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hassan, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed
WTC 2019-21 – M: 6, Runs: 465, Avg: 42.27
Test career – M: 3, Wickets: 14, Avg: 6.40
Shakib Al Hasan
Home tests – Innings: 67, Runs: 2477, Wickets: 142
In last two years – M: 4, Runs: 407, Avg: 67.83