The Bangladesh team is playing today after a long break. As always, we hope to win today’s match against West Indies. All the teams in this World Cup are good. West Indies are no exception. The two teams are equal in points so far. The equation for the semi final is the same for both teams. We were going ahead, but unfortunately the match with Sri Lanka was cancelled due to rain.
I want Rubel back in the team. Miraj and Shakib are bowling well. Most of West Indies’ batsmen are lefties. Miraz will be a weapon against them. Saifuddin is not getting wickets now on the new ball, only towards the end. It is one thing to do well, and another to do well for the the team as a whole. I would include Rubel for the team combination.
The Taunton grounds are a bit small, a factor when it comes to speed of the spinners. Sakib and Miraz team already played three matches ad have reached Taunton. They know how to bowl in these conditions.
The match is important for Tamim and Mahmudullah. Things will be easier for Bangladesh if Tamim makes a big score at the beginning. Mahmudullah had an ideal stage against South Africa and scored big. The other batsmen have to set the stage again for Mahmudullah today. It's hard to bat at number six. It is necessary to bat according to the situation. Hopefully, Mahmudullah will be able to create a storm or runs in the end.
The West Indies cannot be defeated easily. They have players like Chris Gayle and Andre Russel, but have their weaknesses too. We have a little advantage. We won the tri-nation series against Ireland. Russell and Gayle were not there though. They can turn the game single handedly. Their performances are not consistent. I hope it’s not Russell and Gayle's day today.
Shai Hope is the real hero for West Indies. He has been doing good against Bangladesh consistently since last December. He also did well in the tri-nation series. He tries to survive in the pitch till the end. it's vital to get him out as soon as possible. Pacers should bowl above the off stump.
This West Indies' bouncers are a threat. These are not very effective nowadays. They can't scare Bangladesh anymore with bouncers. You'll remember how Bangladesh faced the bouncers in the first match. They played well with England as well. It's not a big deal to be hit by the ball occasionally. But the batsmen were determined to pile up the runs. The same bangladesh will be seen playing against the West Indies bowlers today.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat