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Bangladesh boosted by Mashrafe's presence against imperious West Indies

Mashrafe Mortaza celebrates a wicket AFP

Big Picture

ODIs haven't been much on the menu for Bangladesh and West Indies off late, as the impending series is only their second assignment in the format in 2018. The hosts' successful qualification into next year's World Cup means that their summit climb starts here at home, against a Bangladesh side that is eager to find a footing after the terrible Test series.

The visitors have the inspirational Mashrafe Mortaza back in their ranks. It was a touch-and-go thing for him to come to the West Indies after he stayed back with his ill wife for much of the last four weeks. But he will be pleased to find that his squad has extra cover for batting and pace bowling.

Apart from the big four - Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah - in their batting line-up, Mashrafe has Anamul Haque, Liton Das, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain and Nazmul Hossain Shanto to try different combinations. Among them, Liton is likely to have won the openers' battle against Anamul Haque while Sabbir and Mosaddek have to fight for the lower-order finisher's role.

Mashrafe will lead the pace attack alongside the returning Mustafizur Rahman who has much to prove after he missed the Afghanistan T20s and the West Indies Tests due to injury. Rubel Hossain will be enlivened by a format in which he is better at, than Tests or T20s, while Abu Jayed would also be buoyed by his Test showing. Abu Hider, who has played couple of T20s, provides variety with his left-arm pace. In the spin department, Shakib and Mehidy Hasan Miraz are joined by Nazmul Islam who has impressed in recent T20s.

The home side meanwhile has made several changes to the side that played in Zimbabwe in March. Gone are Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Nikita Miller, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuel and Kesrick Williams; Alzarri Joseph and Kieran Powell have been brought in while Andre Russell makes a comeback to the ODI side after three years.

West Indies will feel more confident than Bangladesh given how the Test series went. Now, Jason Holder has Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis and Russell for the batting firepower, though they will surely miss the services of Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach. Holder, however, can depend on his own bowling form, with help from Joseph and Keemo Paul, who impressed on Test debut a week ago, and spinners Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse.

Form Guide

West Indies: LWWLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh: LLWWW

In the spotlight

Jason Holder's 11-wicket haul in the second Test has put him front and centre on Bangladesh's radar. Holder has also been West Indies' most successful bowler in the last 12 months, picking up 22 wickets. His batting can be dangerous in the late overs too, especially now that Andre Russell has returned to the ODI squad.

Surprisingly, Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in the last 12 months has been Rubel Hossain. The 14 wickets at 20.14 is a far cry from his Test average of 157.00 during the same period. Bangladesh will depend on him with the middle and slog overs, with the hope that he finds his rhythm.

Team news

West Indies will have three automatic changes as Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite and Kemar Roach are not in the current ODI squad. Powell may get the nod ahead of Jason Mohammed while Russell will certainly take Brathwaite's place as one of the pace-bowling allrounders. Joseph may play in place of Roach, which would leave Nurse out.

West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Kieran Powell, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Jason Holder (capt), 7 Rovman Powell, 8 Andre Russell, 9 Devendra Bishoo, 10 Keemo Paul 11 Alzarri Joseph

Bangladesh will be making two changes from their previous ODI, which was all the way back in January 27. Mohammad Mithun and Mohammad Saifuddin are out, with Liton likely to open with Tamim. Jayed and Hider have to wait for their turn to be part of the pace attack.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Liton Das, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Mosaddek Hossain , 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Pitch and conditions

The Providence Stadium's pitches were unpredictable when ODIs were last played here in 2017, but more recently in CPL and first-class matches, sides batting first couldn't really kick on. There is a forecast of showers in the morning, so there could be a delayed start.

Stats and trivia

  • Chris Gayle and Mushfiqur Rahim have 500-plus runs in West Indies-Bangladesh ODIs, with both close to overtaking Marlon Samuels' 523 runs, the top-scorer in this particular contest.

  • Evin Lewis is 32 runs short of completing 1,000 ODI runs, and if he does it in the first ODI, he will become the fourth West Indies batsman to have done it in 30 innings or less. Sir Vivian Richards still holds the world record for fastest to 1,000 ODI runs, having done it in 21 innings.