Shaken teams search for form
Match factsTuesday, March 25, 2014
Start time 1930 local (1330 GMT)
Two teams who aren't at the top of their game come together in Tuesday's clash. Bangladesh, the hosts, have had a forgettable 2014 so far, with lacklustre showings in the home series against Sri Lanka and the Asia Cup which were capped by a defeat to Hong Kong in the first phase of the World T20. West Indies, the defending champions, have lost seven of their previous ten T20s, including their opening game in the World T20, where they went down meekly to India.
After the lukewarm start in the loss against India, talk about West Indies' ability to take singles again got plenty of airtime ahead of the Bangladesh game. Whether it is through singles and twos or through big hits, West Indies need a victory over Bangladesh, as their remaining games in a tough group are against Australia, who are rated among the tournament favourites, and a formidable Pakistan outfit. Defeat to Bangladesh won't eliminate West Indies, but it is likely to mean that their chances of making the semi-finals are not in their hands, leaving them needing to win their remaining matches besides hoping other results go their way.
Bangladesh, despite their defeat to Hong Kong, have achieved their first goal: of reaching the Super 10s and thus avoiding the ignominy of having to watch a party in their backyard from the sidelines. They are positioning themselves as spoilers in a group of heavyweights, and can be tricky opponents, especially at home if the track suits their array of spinners.
Form guide(last five matches, most recent first)
West Indies: LLWWW
In the spotlight
As someone who strikes at around 130 in T20s, Dwayne Smith will want to make amends for his torturous 29-ball 11 against India that robbed West Indies of any momentum at the start of the innings. With Chris Gayle expected to stick to his method of biding his time early on, Smith is entrusted with the task of providing the opening fireworks. Bangladesh's new-ball bowlers have a challenge on their hands.
Chris Gayle had recently jokingly remarked that he had made Sohag Gazi famous by hitting him for six off the first ball of a Test. That was when West Indies last toured Bangladesh in 2012, but even on that tour Gayle didn't exactly dominate - Gazi dismissed him three times in Tests and ODIs. The rivalry is set to resume on Tuesday, when Gazi is expected to be picked as a replacement for Farhad Reza
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has said they have to still take a decision on their quick bowling line-up: whether to bring in either the experienced Ravi Rampaul or the pacy Sheldon Cottrell in place of Krishmar Santokie. He wanted to take a close look at the conditions in Mirpur before taking a call.
West Indies (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Darren Sammy (capt), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul/Krishmar Santokie, 11 Samuel Badree
Bangladesh are expected to make several changes to the side that went down to Hong Kong. With Rubel Hossain injured, Ziaur Rahman is likely to get a game while offspinner Sohag Gazi is set to replace the expensive Farhad Reza. They could also bring in Shamsur Rahman for Sabbir Rahman.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Shamsur Rahman, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Al-Amin Hossain
Stats and trivia
- West Indies are the only top-eight team that Bangladesh have beaten in Twenty20s.
- Andre Russell's economy-rate of 9.60 is the second worst among all those who have bowled more than 30 overs in T20Is. Only New Zealand's Doug Bracewell (9.61) has a worse economy rate.
- With 42 wickets, Shakib Al Hasan is the joint highest wicket-taker, along with Abdur Razzak, in T20Is for Bangladesh. He is also 12 runs short of surpassing Tamim Iqbal as the highest run-getter in T20Is for Bangladesh
"It is hard to predict against West Indies. If they play well, we are finished. If it is not their day, then we have a chance to do well."
Shakib Al Hasan on playing West Indies
"People will make assumptions based on what happened last night. India bowled well. We didn't get singles but we don't normally get singles. That's the way it goes sometimes."
Ottis Gibson on his team's mindset after the loss against India
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo