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.
All the members of the West Indies cricket team have been tested negative in their first Covid-19 test in Bangladesh.
They gave the samples on Monday.
Dario Barthley, the media manager of the West Indies, confirmed it to the media.
He said: “All the members of our team are doing good. Everyone returned negative in the first Covid-19 test in Bangladesh. We’ll undergo another test on Thursday. After that, we’ll be able to train us, though, this schedule is not final.”
The Caribbeans will play a three-match ODI and two-match Test series in this tour. The series will begin with the first ODI set to take place on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium while the second match of the series will also be played at the same venue on January 22.
To play the third ODI and the first Test, both the teams will fly to Chattogram. The third ODI will be played on January 25, and the first Test will take place from February 3, and the final Test will be played in Dhaka from February 11.
West Indies Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer, Jomel Warrican.
West Indies ODI Squad: Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh jr.
Bangladesh right-arm pacer Taskin Ahmed, who injured his left hand during the practice session on Monday, will be able to participate in the One-Day Internationals against visiting West Indies.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief physician Debashish Chowdhury told UNB that Taskin needed two stitches but the cut wasn’t deep. “But there’s no doubt that he’ll participate in ODIs against the visitors,” Chowdhury said.
The ODI series will begin on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. It means Taskin has a week before the first ODI of the three-match series.
“Taskin suffered the blow on Monday to his left hand. The cut was not deep so I think he has no doubt to play in the ODI series,” Debashis told UNB on Tuesday afternoon.
Taskin is also confident to be back in action within the next week. While talking to UNB on Tuesday he said: “There are two small stitches. I think it won’t be a problem to get back to bowling in the next couple of days.”
The right-arm pacer played his last ODI in 2017 against South Africa. Since then, he had suffered several injuries which eventually delayed his return to the Bangladesh ODI squad.
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The 25-year-old pacer has played 32 ODIs till date and scalped 45 wickets with a five-wicket and two four-wicket hauls. He also represented Tigers in five Tests and 19 T20Is.