After a three-day in-room quarantine upon their arrival in Bangladesh, the West Indies started practice ahead of the three-match ODI and two-match Test series against the hosts.
The visitors were seen giving more importance to spin bowling on their first practice session.
They underwent two Covid-19 tests after coming to Bangladesh. In both tests, all the members of the touring side got negative results and subsequently, were allowed to start intra-squad training.
Also read: We’re not a second-string team: WI captain
They will have to wait three more days before getting help from the local net bowlers. During the next three days, they are scheduled to hold intra-squad training sessions. Following this period, they will play a warm-up game at BKSP in Savar on January 18.
On the first day of practice, all the spinners of the Caribbean side looked very curious about the wicket. They joined the practice in two groups. Rahkeem Cornwall, Jomel Warrican and uncapped Kavem Hodge were the spinners who joined the practice in the first group. They bowled at the centre wicket of the national academy ground for more than an hour.
Hayden Walsh will be a key player for the West Indies in their spin department in ODIs. The leg-spinner played 10 ODIs till the date and bagged 12 wickets. They have uncapped Akeal Hosein in their armoury, who bagged 63, 37 and 23 wickets in 23, 28 and 40 Frist-class, List-A and T20s matches respectively.
The ODI series will begin on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The second match will also take the place at the same venue on January 22. The third ODI will be played in Chattogram on January 25 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Jason Mohammed, the stand-in captain of West Indies ODI side, said they will have to play a good brand of cricket in all three departments.
“They (Bangladesh) are a good team, and they play really well in white-ball cricket. So, we’ve to play consistently well against them, we’ve to give our hundred per cent in all three departments of the game,” Jason told the media on Thursday.
Jason said it was a relief for them to come out from in-room quarantine. “It was really a tough time to remain stuck in the hotel room for three days. It’s good to come out and get some fresh air,” he said.
After the ODI series, both the teams will lock horns in a two-match Test series. While the first Test will take place in Chattogram from February 3, the second Test and the final match of the series will be played in Dhaka from February 11.
West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite has said the squad that came to Bangladesh is not a second-string team and that they are capable of doing well at the international level.
Braithwaite interacted with the media on Wednesday evening during a virtual press conference.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, at least 12 regular members of the West Indies opted to stay out of this series in Bangladesh. So, the Cricket West Indies had to send a second-string and inexperienced team. But the stand-in captain of the Caribbeans says insists they are not second-string.
“I don’t see the guys here as second-string. I think they can perform and do well at the international level. I know they’re looking for the opportunity,” Braithwaite told the media.
“I think we’ve a good team here. A few guys haven’t played international cricket, and some haven’t played in a little while. I know this team is fully capable of doing well at the international level. I want to lead from the front as a leader. It is my job as an opening batsman to get runs and build a foundation for the team,” he said.
West Indies are among the first teams that started playing cricket after the Covid-19 outbreak. They toured England in June-July, and later they visited New Zealand. But this time around, they have to face the hosts in completely different sort of conditions.
“These are (England, NZ and Bangladesh) completely different conditions. I think the principles still remain in terms of batsmanship. For me, being balanced at the crease is the key whether I’m playing spin or pace. It was decent in England, there was the improvement in New Zealand as well,” Brathwaite said.
After winning the first Test against England by four wickets in Southampton, West Indies lost six successive games before coming to Bangladesh. Despite this lean display at the international level, the West Indian captain said he is optimistic about doing well against the Tigers.
After arriving in Bangladesh, West Indies are maintaining a strict three-day in-room quarantine due to Covid-19 protocol. They might be allowed to host intra-squad training camp from Thursday if they return negative in the second Covid-19 test. They gave samples on Wednesday, and the result is expected to out on the same night.
Brathwaite explained their plan to get back to the field saying: “On the first day back on the field, you have to get familiar with the atmosphere. You probably do some physical work to get the lungs going on. You don’t want to go too hard. I think it would just be a generalised session to get everything going. From day two or day three, you’ll be pushing yourself extra.”
The series will begin with the first ODI on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, the second ODI will also take place at the same venue on January 22.
The third and final ODI will be played on January 25 at Zahur Ahmed Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram along with the first Test starting from February 3. The second and final Test will take place in Dhaka from February 11.
Bangladesh spin bowling allrounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz says he is eager to get back to his old shape, and he believes that he has a good chance to shine against his familiar foe West Indies.
The West Indies team have arrived in Bangladesh and are maintaining a strict three-day in-room quarantine. They will be allowed to start intra-squad practice sessions on Thursday at the National Academy Ground in Mirpur.
Earlier, the Cricket West Indies announced two different squads for ODIs and Tests which are missing 12 regular players. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) also announced two squads for this series starting from January 20 with the ODI competition.
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“I failed to do well in my last three-four international matches both at home and abroad. But this time, I’m hopeful of doing well against the West Indies. I did well against them in the past. I’ll be working very hard in this series so that I can get my old form back,” Mehidy told the media on Wednesday.
Mehidy played four Tests against West Indies previously and scalped 25 wickets with three five-wicket hauls. Taking seven wickets conceding 58 runs in an innings is his best bowling figures against the Caribbeans which is also his best bowling record in the longest format of the game.
The allrounder played 10 ODIs against West Indies as well and bagged 12 wickets with the best figures of 4/29.
In contrast, the allrounder had a rough patch in his last 10 international games where he bagged only 10 wickets, and in three of them, failed to grab any.
“We’re set to get back to international cricket after a long gap due to Covid-19. We were not sure how to start again. But we’ve passed that time, and now we’re set to begin. I’ll be looking to do well for myself and for the team,” Mehidy added.
While the first ODI of the series will be played on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, the second ODI will also take place at the same venue on January 22. The third and the final ODI will be played on January 25 at Zahur Ahmed Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram along with the first Test starting from February 3, And the second and final Test will take place in Dhaka from February 11.
The West Indies cricket team is now in Bangladesh. They will face the hosts in a three-match ODI and two-match Test series in the coming weeks. For this series, the West Indies board had to announce the squads with 12 regular players missing, who opted out citing concern over Covid-19. Phil Simmons, coach of West Indies, refused to criticise their decision.
Right after arriving in Bangladesh, the West Indies team got into a three-day strict quarantine. On the second day of this period, they underwent a Covid-19 test and all the members returned negative.
After the three-day quarantine, they will undergo another test and those who return negative will join an intra-squad training camp which will last for four days, as per the schedule. After a seven-day period in total, they will get the help of the local support staff.
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“I can’t say that their decision was wrong," Simmons said Tuesday, at a virtual press conference. "Everyone has their own way of thinking. They have made their decision. We can’t decide for them.”
“The board gave everyone the chance to make their decision. Some cricketers opted out for the first series, some for the second, and some didn’t come here. I believe everyone has their own reason. So we can’t judge them for skipping a tour,” Simmons added.
Since there are many newbies in the West Indies team, Simmons said he will arrange the best XI watching the players in the nets.
“Our captain will bat at the middle or late-middle-order. The team will be built keeping him at the centre. For now, I can say that everything depends on the practice sessions. And at the same time, we have to take the conditions in Bangladesh into consideration. Let’s see how we start the practice sessions,” he added.
The West Indian coach believes the new names have got a golden chance to prove their mettle in international cricket, and will fight hard to cement their place in the national team.
“We would like to start preparation keeping the World Cup in mind. I think those who came to play this series are very eager to prove their prowess at the bigger stage of the game. None came here to fill the vacant place left by others. Everyone has their own goal to cement a place in the national team. I would like to send a message to all the players that one can remove them from the national team if they do well in this series,” he further added.
Simmons addressed Bangladesh as the “clear” favourite of this series as the Tigers are set to play at the home ground, though, there will be no support for them in the gallery this time around due to Covid-19 restriction. And at the same time, the West Indian coach insisted that they came to Bangladesh to win the series against the hosts.
Bangladesh allrounder Mohammad Saifuddin said that he is keen to show his best effort in the forthcoming series against West Indies which is all set to begin from January 20 with the maiden ODI of the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Saifuddin had suffered a blow ahead of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, but the allrounder said he is all set to get back to the action after working very hard to recover.
“I was very worried about my recovery ahead of this series. But I worked very hard during the last few days under the observation of Bayezid bhai (physio). He helped me a lot get fit,” Saifuddin told the media on Tuesday.
The allrounder was able to play only three matches in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup for the Minister Group Rajshahi bagging three wickets and scoring only 13 runs. But he said he is now fit enough to show his best against West Indies.
“It’s great to have a chance to get back to international cricket after a long break. I am very lucky that I can represent my country at the international level. I have been doing everything for the last three days. During the BCB President’s Cup and Bangabandhu T20 Cup, our pace-bowlers did really well so I also have a good chance to shine in this series. I’m hopeful of doing well and doing my best for the team,” Saifuddin added.
The 24-year-old allrounder played 22 ODIs and 15 T20Is till the date and scored 290 and 108 runs respectively taking 31 and 14 wickets. He hit two fifties in ODIs and bagged one four-wicket haul both in ODIs and T20Is.