Preview: Windies in Bangladesh

Wed, Nov 21, '18


Windies v Bangladesh

Cricket West Indies named a fifteen-man Test squad for the full tour of Bangladesh spanning November 21 to December 22, 2018. With the squad announcement, however, came the news that captain Jason Holder, who is nursing a shoulder injury, will miss the entire tour to South Asia, leaving Kraigg Brathwaite with big shoes to fill when he skippers Windies for the third time in 2018. The squad list reads: Kraigg Brathwaite (Cpt), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Shermon Lewis, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach and Jomel Warrican.

The most obvious replacement for Holder in the XI would be all-rounder Raymon Reifer. Therefore, if West Indies employs similar strategies to those used in Hyderabad (hopefully not) and persists with the extra batsman; they could enter the first Test on Wednesday evening with a bowling attack of Gabriel, Warrican, Bishoo and Reifer. A boost for Windies, would be the availability of Kemar Roach, who was unavailable in Rajkot, but was an inexplicable absence in Hyderabad. This would mean the visitors will have, at their disposal again, the use of their formidable opening bowling partnership—Roach/Gabriel.

Windies might want to press pause on the thought that a bowling attack of two spinners and three seamers should be an either-or situation on the subcontinent. However, the plan of the extra batsman would then have to be thrown through the window. In keeping an eye on the future, would it be that far-fetched to ask Keemo Paul to embrace the ‘Jason-Holder-role’; add extra responsibility to his batting and demand of him to fulfill, at the international level, this all-rounder label that is continuously touted at him? Any takers for a Roach/Gabriel/Paul/Bishoo/Warrican attack?

Perhaps even outweighing the disappointing performances, were some of the off-field decisions (because of their appalling nature) from Stuart Law and his coaching staff throughout the month-long tour of India. With the team already hamstrung by the absence of their leader, one can only hope that whatever was in the water in India hasn’t seeped into Bangladesh’s supply.

The interval between series for both Bangladesh and Windies is no doubt a short one, which makes it all the more intriguing to see some of the Windies batsmen make the transition from the shorter formats of the game to the traditional, especially the likes of Shimron Hetmyer who has previously voiced confirmation of his struggles in finding the balance among formats. Perhaps the timing can be of benefit to the likes of Shai Hope. Hope finished the ODIs against India with an average of 62.5 and may be able to carry that form and confidence into Tests. However confused Caribbean fans are by Law’s sudden disappearance and Pothas’ appointment, hopefully the players are in the know and are not massively affected by the happenings around them.

Bangladesh’s Test Form: DLLLW

Windies’ Test Form: LWWLL