Bangladesh will lock horns with the Windies today (Sunday) in the first of three-match ODI series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
The match is scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm. After drubbing the Windies in Test series by 2-0, Tigers will look to continue their supremacy over the Caribbean side in ODI as well. However, it will not be an easy task for Bangladesh as the Windies will seek redemption.
Bangladesh will be boosted with the inclusion of southpaw left handed opener Tamim Iqbal, who struck smashing 107 from 73 balls against Windies in the warm-up match on Thursday.
Tamim returns to the roster after fracturing his left wrist during the Asia Cup back in September. However, Tamim’s return increased coach Steve Rhodes headache in a positive way.
From among Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das, who will open the batting on Sunday alongside Tamim remains a question. The return of key players Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal from injury may prove vital for Bangladesh side.
Tigers’ strength lies in their experienced middle order as well, which includes Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah. Tigers bowling attack have also been sharp with good blend of pace and spin bowling. Mehedy Hasan, who took a match haul of 12 wickets in the second Test in Dhaka, will be supported by the steady pace of skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mohammad Saifuddin. Cutter master Mustafizur Rahman’s deceptive bowling could also prove pivotal.
The Windies, on the other hand, have a relatively young squad and are still searching for the right balance and based on their defeat in the warm-up match, this could be another difficult series for them.
They desperately need one or two of their batsmen to fire and get to grips with the pitches and spinners, and it may be a tough start for them here. However, they have added new armors in their weaponry. Darren Bravo’s return lends much-needed experience to the batting line-up.
A lot will depend on whether their new ODI captain Rovman Powell and T20I captain Carlos Brathwaite can fire in the slog overs.
Bangladesh need to be aware of these two. In the absence of the injured Jason Holder, all-rounder Rovman Powell will lead the Windies during ODI series. Powell had managed only 61 runs in five innings at an average of 12.20 and a strike-rate of 58.09 in their last ODI series in India.
Bangladesh are currently higher than their counterpart Windies in ODI rankings, sitting at seventh position with 93 rating points, while Windies are at ninth position with 72 rating points.
Bangladesh have also won four of their last five ODI matches where Windies have won only once on their last five ODI encounters. Therefore, Tigers will look to prolong their good run of form in the ODI’s and start the series on a winning note by beating Windies today.