Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st ODI, Mirpur October 12, 2011

Can Bangladesh live up to expectations?


Match Facts

Bangladesh v West Indies, October 13, Mirpur
Start time 1330 (0730 GMT)

Big Picture

When Mushfiqur Rahim slammed the penultimate ball of the tour opener for a match-winning six, the packed stands in Mirpur erupted as one. It was a spontaneous expression of joy from a crowd that hadn't seen their side winning a Twenty20 international since 2007. But the reaction also underlined the dangerous extremes inhabited by the Bangladesh cricket fan. While their team has struggled to shed the minnow tag - the occasional series wins against West Indies and New Zealand notwithstanding - the fans have tended to look at each victory as a new dawn, and every defeat as a national slight.

Mushfiqur's biggest challenge as he takes over the leadership will be finding ways to manage these unfair expectations. It was a challenge that caught up with Shakib Al Hasan during Bangladesh's roller-coaster World Cup campaign. One day he was joking with journalists, relieved after a hard-fought win against Ireland, only for the video to go viral and earn him brickbats after the crushing loss to West Indies. When Bangladesh somehow scrambled to victory against England in their next game, Shakib was in tears - the reaction of a man forced to live on the edge.

Mushfiqur would have seen Shakib's travails from close quarters, and will have to tread the tricky line now. Tuesday's win has already raised expectations, and a change in form will not be easily tolerated. Mushfiqur must be concerned since West Indies have the personnel to effect a turnaround. The exclusion of Devendra Bishoo caught up with them on the spinner-friendly Mirpur surface, but they are unlikely to repeat the gaffe on the same pitch. The visitors will also be bolstered by the inclusion of Kieron Pollard, who has developed a reputation for minnow-bashing. The biggest worry for the visitors will be their middle order's dodginess against Bangladesh's platoon of left-arm spinners. The in-form Marlon Samuels will remain their point man, but can Darren Bravo and the rest play around him?


With Chris Gayle seemingly out of the picture, Adrian Barath will be expected to take over as the prime mover in the West Indies top order. Barath has the game to do well at the highest level - you don't hit Test hundreds on debut at the Gabba without having serious talent. West Indies' emphasis on youth gives him an extended opportunity at the top and he will want to capitalise when the ball is new.

"Honest trier." "Never-say-die attitude." "Can't be faulted for effort." Darren Sammy's supporters tend to deal in intangibles when they explain his value to the side. If emotions are cast aside, Sammy comes across as a limited, but effective, back-up seamer, while his batting is of the hit-or-miss variety. Questions remain over whether he justifies a spot in the side, potentially at the expense of the pacy Kemar Roach. Sammy will want to lay those questions to rest in this series.

Team news

Pollard should come in for Danza Hyatt in the West Indies middle order, while Bishoo could slot in for Carlos Brathwaite. Given the frailty of the batting line-up against spin, Kieran Powell might feature in team discussions as well.

West Indies (probable): 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Anthony Martin / Kemar Roach

Bangladesh are unlikely to alter their combination, though Shuvagoto Hom could push Alok Kapali out of the XI. Mahmudullah's continued absence should give Nasir Hossain another chance to come good.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mohammad Ashraful, 5 Alok Kapali, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Naeem Islam, 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain

Stats & Trivia

  • Bangladesh have beaten West Indies only three times in 17 attempts, all during their 2009 tour of the Caribbean, against a third-string side
  • Tuesday's T20I win was Bangladesh's first at home against West Indies, across all formats


"Since we had three wickets left, I knew that even if I mis-hit the shot and we ran one or two there would still be a chance to win."
Mushfiqur Rahim explains his thought process before hitting the match-winning six in the T20I

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 13, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Yes, certainly the Bengal Tiger can handle the pressure because at present Bangladesh side looks to be much more balance and taking their job seriously. But on the given day the team plays better cricket will go to win. So there is no regret for West indies

  • Mustafiz on October 13, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Self confidence is very important in all aspects of human life. Bangladesh had this problem since they are playing in the highest level. Hopefully they will conquer their lack of confidence problem & ready to do something great for the country as they did against NZ. So keep it up tigers...we r always behind u.

  • Basil on October 13, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    @Isaac_7 if we are talking about the best possible XI to choose from this is it 1 Gayle 2 Pollard 3 Dwayne Smith ( all 3 of these guys can take advantage of the field being up) 4 Samuels 5 Darren Bravo wk 6 Sarwan (to play the M.Bevan/M.Hussey finisher type role 7 & 8 Dwayne Bravo/Sammy/Russel 9 Rampaul 10 Taylor 11 Bishoo. As an Aussie I have no doubt this team would beat most and find themselves in the top 4 rankings rather quickly. Alot of WI players seem suited for 50 over cricket, but better selection and TACTICS are required.

  • Dummy4 on October 13, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    Good luck Bangladesh!!! again...don't be scare to face WI's pace......

  • Isaac on October 13, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    gayle,barath,simmo(wk),bravo,samuels,sars,pollrd,sammy,russell,bishoo,rampaul. what's wrong wit dat lineup? Rampaul n russell at d top, wit sammy n polly 2 follow. den bishoo, gayle n now samuels. strong batting. Sars could come earlier if WI lose 2 wicks in first 5 ovrs 2 take pressure off young bravo so he can improve. and the finshers in the batting r pollard sammy n russell. if u want, u could evn send polly at 3 n see wat happpns?

  • Dummy4 on October 13, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    Let me share my ideas as a die hard emotional Team Bangladesh fan.... Team Bangladesh are really minnows not because of their physical order but their kids like attitude. They have everything ever a 1st class Cricket country can ever offer but they kept loosing because of their mental state.. "Get your head straight" just the quote for us.. Folks like me watch every single game with hope it's the time for us to do the impossible but kept getting knocked out. Who to blame here? The team? Coach? or is it really us the people who is patiently waiting n' waiting forever just to see their team shines into the wonderful game of cricket... Sad... Still keeping my hopes alive..

  • Alex on October 12, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    Bangladesh have nothing to prove . Its the West Indies that is under pressure to prove a point . Gibson and his team along with the Captain will always be under SERIOUS PRESSURE with this squad of players . Simply put.........Not TEST standard .

  • Tajal on October 12, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    Where the hell is Chanderpaul and Sarwan? Have they been officially discarded?

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    Great article. " But the reaction also underlined the dangerous extremes inhabited by the Bangladesh cricket fan....... the fans have tended to look at each victory as a new dawn, and every defeat as a national slight ". Very well said. Exuberant emotions, while its a wonderful sight to witness, it probably does put a lot of uncalled pressure on the players as a whole. Nevertheless, BD players must find a way to muster enough strength and courage to win and conquer this unjust pressure and get on with proceedings. Stuart Law, the new coach, may want to add his signature on this. As a die hard BD fan [again, exuberant !!! where does it come from; must be the weather I bet ] I hope to see they continue to build and improve upon what they've already learned and achieved. Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers, two of my most favorite childhood idles and still is to this day. All the best to BD and WI.

  • sunil on October 12, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    West indies have no one to steady they middle order..chanderpaul or nash is perfect for the job but all the selectors want is a batsman to make 20 off 10 and get out..i don't see west indies batting out there 50 overs in no game. WAT A SHAME!!

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