Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st Test, Chittagong October 20, 2011

Bangladesh's best chance for a home win

Match facts

Bangladesh v West Indies, October 21, Chittagong
Start time 0930 (0330 GMT)

Big Picture

When it comes to matches in Chittagong, the weather is always a concern. The drainage at the ground is so bad that Zimbabwe's coach Alan Butcher once suggested even football matches would be called off because of the soggy field. With rain forecast on two of the three days of the Test, it is likely that chunks of play will be lost.

The way some of the Bangladesh and West Indies batsmen bat, though, three days could provide a result. Over the first two ODIs, Bangladesh were either too cautious or too reckless with the bat, and in the third the West Indies batsmen made the Chittagong pitch look like a pot-holed filled road and Bangladesh's spinners like Pradeep Mathew from the Chinaman.

West Indies will have reinforcements in the form of the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kirk Edwards, who scored a hundred on Test debut. Bangladesh's addition to the batting line-up, Raqibul Hasan, doesn't inspire as much confidence with his Test average of 19.14.

Bangladesh have won only one Test at home, back in 2005, against Zimbabwe at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong. This is as good a chance as they are going to get in the near future - their next two Test series are against Pakistan, who are looking a strong side in Abu Dhabi. Here, they have West Indies coming into the match after the embarrassing 61 all out in the last one-dayer; they're at a venue that has brought some big wins recently; and they have a new captain, who the team seems to have instantly taken to.

For West Indies, this is a must-win Test. Despite the sometimes farcical events off the pitch, and the fact that their biggest stars are Twenty20 cricketers who don't play Twenty20 cricket for West Indies, their Test form has not been that poor. Over their home season, they won one and lost two of five Tests, a respectable performance considering three of those games were against then world No. 1 India. Anything less than a win here would be a major setback for Darren Sammy, who has quietly started turning around people's opinions on his surprise appointment as captain. They have the pace to unsettle Bangladesh and their young legspinner Devendra Bishoo is the reigning ICC Emerging Player of the Year. The question is whether their batsmen can figure out how to play half-decent spin bowling.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LLLLL
West Indies: DDLLW

In the spotlight

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has more Test runs than the entire Bangladesh squad combined. In an inexperienced team, whether or not Chanderpaul can grind it out in testing conditions will be a major determinant in West Indies' fortunes.

Though he is only 25, Shahriar Nafees seems like he has been around for ages. It was in 2006 that he created waves with a century against the might of Australia. He never quite lived up to that early promise, but now, with Mohammad Ashraful dropped, Nafees has a chance to be the anchor of the team's batting.

Team news

All the talk about Bangladesh's squad has been about Ashraful's exclusion and his reaction. Without Ashraful, Raqibul can be expected to play in the middle order. Nasir Hossain and Elias Sunny are expected to debut with Abdur Razzak dropped. Shahadat Hossain has the experience of 29 Tests and should fill in for the injured Shafiul Islam as the second seamer alongside Rubel Hossain.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Shahriar Nafees, 4 Raqibul Hasan, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim, 7 Naeem Islam, 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Elias Sunny, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain.

Lendl Simmons replaced the injured Adrian Barath in the Test squad and, after a good one-day series, should make the XI. The other opener's position is between the 18-year-old Kraigg Brathwaite and 21-year-old Kieran Powell, each of whom have played just a single Test. Carlton Baugh should keep the wicketkeeper's spot in the Test side after impressing behind the stumps against India. West Indies opted for Fidel Edwards to share the new ball with Ravi Rampaul in the series against India, but Kemar Roach is also an option.

West Indies (probable): 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Kieran Powell/Kraigg Brathwaite, 3 Kirk Edwards, 4 Darren Bravo 5 Marlon Samuels, 6 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Carlton Baugh, 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Fidel Edwards, 11 Devendra Bishoo.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch during the one-day match in Chittagong was sluggish and turned. Even the slightest amount of rain leaves the outfield wet and slow, making the conditions difficult for run-scoring. Showers are expected on the first two days of the Test, but the weather is expected to improve from Sunday.

Stats & Trivia

  • Out of the eight Tests played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, four were won by the team batting first, and three by the side batting second. The team that lost the toss won five matches.

  • Ravi Rampaul has taken a wicket within the first ten overs in seven of the last nine innings in which he has opened the bowling.


"That was a game with the one-day team. Our minds have now changed quickly towards the Tests. Obviously, we finished the one-day series a bit of a low, but it's also a fact that we won a one-day series away from home for the first time since 2007."
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson refuses to be deflated by West Indies' big loss in the third ODI.

"We have got the potential. We need to score more runs at the top of the order. We go into the Test knowing this surface suits us and that gives us confidence."
Bangladesh's coach Stuart Law thinks the conditions will have a role to play in the final outcome.

Dustin Silgardo is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo