Bangladesh would eye a winning start when they take on West Indies in the first Test at Antigua beginning July 4. Bangladesh are coming off a T20I series whitewash against Afghanistan while West Indies levelled a three-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Cricwizz takes a look at strengths, weaknesses of West Indies and Bangladesh ahead of first Test, and prediction for the match.
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Bangladesh have all-round depth in both batting and bowling. They have the reliable opener in Tamim Iqbal, a shrewd keeper-batsman in Mushfiqur Rahim and a top-class all-rounder in Shakib Al Hasan. In the bowling front, they have Mehidy Hasan and Rubel Hossain to do the damage. Overall, Bangladesh have the depth in squad and competitiveness to give West Indies a run for their money on their home soil.
Bangladesh are highly unpredictable, they can be ruthless in one game and mediocre in the next. And in a Test match, you need to win sessions consistently to run the opponent close. Can Bangladesh keep the intensity high and win as many sessions and beat West Indies in the Test? That’s highly debatable considering their recent patchy and inconsistent form in all forms of cricket.
West Indies strengths
Great competitive bunch of players
Despite lacking big names such as Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, a second-string West Indies Test team gave a good fight against a full-fledged Sri Lankan team in the just concluded Test series which was drawn 1-1. Jason Holder led with aplomb and was man of the match in the lost third Test. Nevertheless, West Indies gave a good fight to draw the series. Their batting and bowling line-up delivered a good show but could not avoid a drawn series.
West Indies weaknesses
West Indies too are plagued with inconsistencies. Bangladesh can run West Indies close and scare the the opponents. On home conditions, West Indies would have to play top-class cricket to thrash a competitive Bangladesh. West Indies need to maintain the high intensity throughout the Test to give a tough fight to Bangladesh.
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Prediction: West Indies would start favourites as they are playing at home. But Bangladesh could not be taken lightly either. Our vote goes to West Indies in the first Test.