West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13 December 6, 2012

Bangladesh face hurdle of resurgent West Indies

Bangladesh teams of old have been thrown off track from set plans when put under pressure by the opposition. This may be the time for this side to prove they are mentally stronger

Ahead of the fourth ODI against West Indies, Bangladesh find themselves in a rare position that is going to test the team's character. Never before have they had to face the dual task of stretching themselves in search of a series win while also fending off a dangerous challenger who seems to have found the right gear.

Two years ago, against New Zealand, Bangladesh carried the momentum with them all the way through to win 4-0. But in this series, after winning the first two matches comfortably in Khulna, Bangladesh lost the third, allowing West Indies a foot in the door. It was a similar scenario in the Dhaka Test in which Bangladesh put up strong batting performance in the first innings, but didn't stand up to fight on the last day as the West Indies bowlers raised their intensity.

In the past, the Bangladesh team, when put into situations like these, have appeared devoid of ideas and have been thrown off track from set plans, especially in Test cricket. In limited-overs formats, however, recently, the team has tasted some success against big teams and in foreign conditions. The tempo of the limited-overs games has suited them better; they have adjusted their batting, been skilful with their bowling and been sprightly while fielding in shorter formats. Shane Jurgensen, the interim coach, who has observed the team's performances across formats believes that regular wins have brought about the change in attitude.

"What has changed is their belief," Jurgensen said. "We had the Asia Cup and had done well in the Ireland T20s this year. Winning creates a good habit and this team understands what we do well when we win, and what we didn't quite get right when we don't win."

"I think the boys knew last night [after the third ODI] that we missed out on a little opportunity. But I believe they can win the game every time they cross the rope."

Bangladesh coaches are often asked if their team is mentally strong enough and the question popped up after they had taken the 2-0 lead too. The current position is not one the players are familiar with, but Jurgensen thinks that the team needs no more mental strength to pull it through from this point than what they needed coming into the series after the Test losses.

"I think the first two ODIs were a bit of a mind game, because we had had a tough Test series. It was pretty impressive to see how the boys responded. We need to draw upon those.

"We were so close to getting it right [on Wednesday] night. We didn't quite get through the tough periods as we did in the first two games. That is how I am looking at it."

The late addition of Elias Sunny to the squad on the eve of the fourth game is proof that Bangladesh are intent on winning; Sunny had troubled West Indies in the Chittagong Test last year.

Bangladesh fans often make do with keenly analysing little improvements in the players, as big wins are few and far between. But over this weekend, as the team approaches a major achievement, a giant leap is in demand.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sarfin on December 7, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    I expect two changes today. Replace Naeem with Ziaur, and Rubel with Sunny. Ziaur is able to hit some big ones at the last stage of the innings. He can bowl a few overs too. Apart from Mashrafe, Bangladesh pacer are insipid so far. So, dropping Rubel in favor of Ziaur, a half bowler-half batsman (not a allrounder), won't hurt Bangladesh. Also it'll help Mahmudullah to get a promotion in batting order. Surely, with all his technique and temperament, he should not be the last recognized batsman.

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    Hope this time Mushfiq will win toss and will bowl first...best of luck tigers...

  • Rezwan on December 7, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    Sorry I forgot to mention Mominul in my previous comment.. He deserves a chance as well.. And above all, dont drop catches.. pls be active.

  • Rezwan on December 7, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    I believe they will go for one pacer today and that's Mortaza. That will be enough.. But please don't waste too many overs giving the bowl to Mahmudullah and naeem.. Bowl them only 10 overs and thats it no more than that.. the rest 40 overs by Gazi, razzak, Sunny, and Mortaza. Ofcourse you can introduce Zia as well.. He will do great I think in the lower order. He has got the muscle..

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Rubel should be dropped and Shafiul should be in. It would been lot better if Nazmul was selected in the first eleven. Instead of taking Sunny they should have gone for Nazmul. We have good spinners already. We need pacers. And honestly Naeem should be dropped. And Zia should come in his place. He will give a boost for his hard-hitting abilities and also give a service of a third pacer. We saw how Mashrafe worked it out for himself. Other than that BEST OF LUCK

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    Hi BD friend's good news for you, probably Sunny would be play today match as he included yesterday. So more chances Sunny replace for Rubel. In-Shaa- Allah today we win the series. Mominul or Gazi would be man of the match.

  • Ahmad on December 7, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    Wi batsmen have given they hand away all the time

  • Javed on December 6, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    I don't see any reason to give another chance to Rubel Hossain. They rather play with one pace bowler (Mash) or find someone better than Rubel/Shafiul.

  • Hasib on December 6, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    Sunny for Rubel and Kayes (or Zia) for Naeem will make all the differences. Sunny and Kayes have both done well against WI.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    A series win will definitely mean a huge amount of confidence to Bangladesh. Inshallah if they win tomorrow they can play youngsters or people on the fringes of Bangladesh team (they are host nation can get any amount of players to play). 2012 is the turning point of Bangladesh Cricket Team... Inshallah they will be a dominant team in the future!

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