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Bangladesh cricket

Bangladesh look to bounce back after double-collapse

WI v Ban, 2nd Test, preview

The Windies will be confident of making it 2-0 after the innings-and-219-run win in the first Test in North Sound, where the Bangladesh batting just couldn’t rise to the challenge.

Windies v Bangladesh
Sabina Park, Kingston
2nd Test
Thursday 12 July, 15:00 GMT, 10:00 local

Bangladesh knew things were going to be tough in the Caribbean with the pace and bounce on offer, but they weren’t prepared for the margin of defeat they suffered in the first Test.

Everything that could possibly go wrong for the visitors did. They were sent in on a spicy deck and fell like a deck of cards for just 43 in 18.4 overs in the face of some fiery pace bowling led by Kemar Roach. It was their lowest score in Test cricket and the lowest overall in the last 44 years.

Things did not go to plan in their second innings either, after the Windies had piled on 406 led by Kraigg Brathwaite's eighth Test century. Bangladesh slipped to 63/7 before a counter-punching half-century from Nurul Hasan ensured the visitors did not fall for a second successive sub-100 total. They still lost big, with the Windies taking all of 354 deliveries to knock off Bangladesh and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, admitted his side will have to be “mentally prepared” to fight the Windies fire with their own fire. But that’s easier said than done.

For starters, the visitors have to devise a strategy to play out Shannon Gabriel, Miguel Cummins and Jason Holder, who along with Roach shared the 20 Bangladesh wickets among them in the first Test. Roach, told to rest a hamstring strain, won't be a part of the squad, with Alzarri Joseph coming in.

The senior pros in the squad – Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Shakib – will have to bring all their experience into play to guide the young Bangladesh side to safe shores. They will have to shoulder bulk of the responsibility with youngsters like Liton Das and Mominul Haque batting around them. The visitors might also be tempted to draft in Imrul Kayes for the final Test taking into account his experience.

It was a comfortable victory for the Windies in the first Test
It was a comfortable victory for the Windies in the first Test

The pace attack is a bit of a concern for the visitors as well, with Rubel Hossain, Kamrul Islam and Abu Jayed not looking as penetrative as their Windies counterparts. Jayed, in his first Test, looked promising though, getting the ball to reverse at pace. Bangladesh suffered a blow hours ahead of the decider when fast bowler Shafiul Islam was ruled out of the second Test after he sustained an ankle injury while fielding at practice.

The Windies, on the other hand, are in a comfortable space. They recorded their biggest-ever Test defeat on home soil and did so with relative ease. A win in the second Test will not just hand them the series, but help them pip Bangladesh to the No.8 spot on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings.

They did most things right in the opening outing. If it was Roach in the first innings that broke Bangladesh's back, Gabriel produced a masterclass in the second to pick up five wickets. Cummins and Holder also did their job well, backing up the frontline pacers.

The batting department also came to the fore with Keiron Powell, Shai Hope and Devon Smith all giving Brathwaite ample support.

Shannon Gabriel has been in excellent form over the past few months
Shannon Gabriel has been in excellent form over the past few months

Key players

Shannon Gabriel (Windies): The speedster has been in top form over the past few months and can be expected to again come out all guns blazing come the second Test. Gabriel has been Holder's go-to man in recent times and the big pacer has not disappointed whenever given the chance.

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh): The Bangladesh captain has a huge task in getting his players back on track after such a heavy defeat in the opening Test. For that to happen, he will have to lead from the front, something that he has done quite effectively with both bat and ball in the past.

Shakib Al Hasan will need to bring all his experience into play come the second Test
Shakib Al Hasan will need to bring all his experience into play come the second Test

The surface at Sabina Park has slowed down over the years but it still has enough pace and bounce to cause batters a problem or two. The last Test played here was in August 2017, when the hosts lost to Pakistan by seven wickets. The forecast is that rain will make an appearance on all days of the Test, but there should still be enough time to have a full game.

Windies: Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Alzarri Joseph, Devon Smith

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Abu Jayed, Imrul Kayes, Kamrul Ismal, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nazmul Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Tamim Iqbal

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