West Indies overcame a 171-run first-innings deficit and chased down 395 in the fourth innings to complete a remarkable comeback win against Bangladesh in Chattogram. Here's why many are calling this one of West Indies' greatest ever wins.
They were without six first-choice players
Ten West Indies cricketers opted not to travel to Bangladesh amid Covid-19 concerns, including their Test captain Jason Holder, and vice-captain Roston Chase. Shai Hope, Darren Bravo and Shamarh Brooks, all likely to have made the XI, also opted out of the tour, as did first-choice keeper Shane Dowrich, for personal reasons. Shimron Hetmyer, who could have made the Test team for the first time since 2019 as a replacement batsman, also missed out.
They fielded three debutants
All the absentees meant West Indies had to field three debutants in the first Test in Bangladesh: Shayne Moseley, Nkrumah Bonner, and Kyle Mayers, who batted from No.3 to No.5. Their wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva was playing just his second Test. Kraigg Brathwaite took over from Holder as captain.
West Indies had lost 0-2 on their previous tour to Bangladesh
Even with a full-strength side, West Indies would have been underdogs in Bangladesh, having lost both Tests there on their 2018 tour. They had a near full-strength squad for that series, but their batsmen struggled on the turning tracks, only once getting a total of more than 250.
They had been swept in the ODI series of this tour
Those vulnerabilities against spin were apparent on this tour as well, as West Indies' ODI batting line-up crumbled for scores of 122, 148 and 177 in the three-match series. They could not get to 300 in either innings of the tour match before the Tests, and when they were bowled out for 259 in the first innings of the first Test, it looked like it would be another long series for their batsmen.
The heroes of the win were two debutants
Left 395 to chase on a fourth and fifth-day pitch, West Indies would have had most of their hopes pinned on their captain Brathwaite, and more experienced batsmen, John Campbell and Jermaine Blackwood. Instead, the two heroes were debutants - Mayers, who scored an incredible 210 not out, and Bonner, who got 86; the pair put together 216 for the fourth wicket. Mayers is 28 and Bonner 32 - both have been on the first-class scene for a while, and when finally given the opportunity, produced memorable knocks.