After the first Test in Antigua ended a couple of hours before the Brazil-Belgium World Cup quarterfinal last week, there was some mock appreciation from Bangladeshi fans; at least their cricket team didn’t clash with the football. Some even suggested that if the second Test ends by the third afternoon, they could all watch the World Cup final – on July 15 – uninterrupted.
It is an expression of disappointment after the dismal performance in Antigua. They didn’t just get bowled out for 43 in the first innings, Bangladesh barely improved upon it in the second, and to top it off, they bowled poorly, too.
West Indies, on the other hand, had the perfect game in Antigua. Kemar Roach burst through the Bangladesh top order before Jason Holder and Miguel Cummins cleaned up the lower order in only 18.4 overs. It was more of the same in the second innings, where Shannon Gabriel took a five-wicket haul, with Cummins and Holder claiming the other five.
On the batting front, Kraigg Brathwaite prospered with a seventh Test century. Contributions from Devon Smith, Kieran Powell and Shai Hope gave them a 400-plus total, which was nine times more than Bangladesh’s first-innings 43. West Indies also caught very well, not allowing Bangladesh any second chances.
Only Nurul Hasan got out of Antigua with any semblance of respect thanks to his counter-attacking 64 off 74 balls. It is likely that the team management will now add an eighth batsman, a usual measure that they tend to take after a particularly heavy defeat.
It would mean they would go into the game with one fewer bowler, which would further burden Shakib Al Hasan’s all-round duties. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Abu Jayed and Kamrul Islam Rabbi bowled well in patches but Rubel Hossain’s ever-increasing bowling average shows he may not be cut out for Test cricket.
The onus is on the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah to bail them out. But it won’t be an easy task against an in-form West Indies side.
West Indies: WLDWL
In the spotlight
After Bangladesh had been bowled out for just 43, Kraigg Brathwaite showed exactly how to bat in Antigua. He struck a century after almost 12 months, the seventh in his career, and will once again test Bangladesh’s patience.
Nurul Hasan‘s inclusion as the specialist wicketkeeper was a surprise, but he made sure it would be hard to drop him, with a gritty half-century in the second innings. Tamim said that Nurul’s innings was an inspiration for the rest of the batting line-up, but can the rookie step up further?
Alzarri Joseph is likely to replace Kemar Roach ahead of Keemo Paul. Shimron Hetmyer may also have to wait for his chance, with West Indies likely to stick to the combination that inflicted an innings defeat on the visitors.
West Indies (probable): 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Devon Smith, 3 Kieran Powell, 4 Shai Hope, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Shane Dowrich (wk), 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Devendra Bishoo, 9 Miguel Cummins, 10 Shannon Gabriel, 11 Alzarri Joseph
After a poor batting performance, the Bangladesh management usually picks an extra batsman in the following game for damage control. If that’s what happens in Jamaica, either Imrul Kayes or Nazmul Hossain Shanto would be the eighth batsman.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Liton Das, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Nurul Hasan, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 Abu Jayed, 11 Kamrul Islam Rabbi
Pitch and conditions
There’s likely to be less grass than Antigua. Nonetheless, Bangladesh can expect a similarly paced pitch especially since the home side’s pace attack had been so successful in the first game. There’s a forecast of a light shower in Kingston early on the first day, but it’s clear skies for the rest of the game.
Stats and trivia
Mushfiqur Rahim will become Bangladesh’s most capped Test player as he is set to overtake Mohammad Ashraful’s 61 matches. Since 2007, Mushfiqur has missed only one Test.
Shakib Al Hasan has the most wickets (31) in Bangladesh-West Indies Tests. Roach’s burst in Antigua took his tally to 30 but his absence means Shakib can extend his lead.