Need to play our best cricket to beat West Indies Test team: Minhajul

DHAKA—Chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu believes that Bangladesh would face a sterner challenge in the forthcoming two-match Test series against West Indies unlike the ODI series which was a lopsided one.

Bangladesh swept the three-match ODI series with ease as it was expected against a side that was without their top 12 players. The Test squad of West Indies also missed some of the experienced campaigners but still it is more experienced than the ODI series with their bowling attack has the firepower to take the 20 wickets of Bangladesh in Test cricket.

The West Indies bowlers have already shown the glimpse of the talent in the three-match practice game, pushing the BCB XI, which included some of the Bangladesh Test players, hard.

Watching their performance in the practice match, the chief selector emphasized on playing best cricket to bring up a positive result.

“Test cricket is altogether a different ball game. It’s the format you can’t say anything in advance,” Minhajul said today in Chattogram, where Bangladesh is staying now to play the first Test against West Indies, starting on February 3.

“The West Indies Test team is ahead of the ODI team in terms of experience. The team they brought in is well balanced and their pacers are well experienced. So we have to play our best game,” he emphasized.

Having warned the side, Minhajul also believes that Bangladesh is capable of beating West Indies in the Test series too.

“It’s not a matter of concern which players and what kind of team West Indies has brought up and what kind of attack they have. We believe if we play our best, we will come out with a good result in the Test series too,” he remarked.

Bangladesh whitewashed West Indies in a two-match Test series at home soil in 2018 and that too against a full strength side. The spinners then led the side, claiming all 40 available wickets across two Tests. Mehidy Hasan Miraz claimed 15 wickets and well supported by Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan, who shared the rest of the 25 wickets amongst them.

Minhajul was though reluctant to reveal the team combination this time around, he hinted to unleash a spinning track.

“We will play the way we always do at home,” he hinted. “But it’s hard to say right now (what will be the combination). The team management will finalize the XI, 24 hours before the game. Then it will be decided how many spinners or how many seamers will play,” he added.
Bangladesh however fielded a pace-heavy side alongside retaining the four-pronged spin attack in Shakib, Taijul, Miraz and Nayeem.

MInhajul explained as to why the squad was an 18-member and pace-heavy.

“Firstly because of Covid-19 situation, we had to enlarge the squad because you never know what could happen in this situation. Secondly we would play a five-day game after a long time, which is why there is a possibility that pacers could feel the heat. So the squad is pace heavy, so that we can have enough replacement. It is tough to get replacement in case of an injury or sickness since there is a bio-bubble issue here,” he concluded.BSS