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HomeCricket News1st Test: West Indies v Bangladesh - Review

1st Test: West Indies v Bangladesh – Review

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Last Updated on 10 years by Charbel Coorey

As expected, the West Indies wrapped up victory relatively comfortably on the fifth day’s play to take a 1-0 lead in the two match Test series against Bangladesh. West Indies openers required just 2.4 overs to knock off the 13 runs required after Bangladesh scored 314 in their second innings largely thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim’s 116, his 3rd Test hundred.

Personally, I felt that Mushiqur Rahim and Bangladesh made a big mistake in winning the toss and electing to bowl first on the opening day. From there, trouble was beckoning for the Bangladeshis and there was a wonderful opportunity for the West Indian batsmen to score large. Kraigg Brathwaite scored his maiden Test double hundred against an attack that was barely Test standard at times, but he showed good patience and relatively solid technique in reaching his milestone. It was a fine effort from Brathwaite but for Bangladesh, questions must be asked of their tactics & strategy. If you pick 8 batsmen, what you’d hope for first and foremost is to win the toss so you can get the first opportunity to bat and post a score on the board to bowl at. Why on earth would you bowl first? This was made all the more incredible not only because 8 batsmen were selected, but also because the bowling attack comprised of just three specialist bowlers. The first, Al Amin Hossain was just in his fourth Test. The second, Rubel Hossain, had an average of 81 after 19 Tests before this one. Now that bowling average has crept up even further. Surely this is his last Test for a while at least. The third, Taijul Islam, was on debut. This is arguably the most defensive decision I’ve ever seen from a Test side. They aimed for the draw from the outset, and went about things on the opening two days to ensure that. Don’t worry about wickets, just keep the runs in check for a while. This is exactly what I was worried about before the Test match began – a defensive approach from Bangladesh with the ball from Day 1.That’s not the attitude to have when trying to improve in Test cricket and to tell the world you belong. Poor stuff.

Mushfiqur Rahim scored his 3rd Test hundred

Then, there was the batting. I challenge any cricket fan to find a tougher ask than to be a Bangladesh fan and watch the team bat. There’s so much ability and talent in the side but the mindset is poor most of the time. Patience, temperament and discipline are paramount for batsmen at this level and most of the Bangladesh batsmen failed to show any discipline for a prolonged period of time. Do they not know how to leave a ball? In Test cricket, leaving the ball well is key because the bowler will have to bowl closer to you to get you out. Bangladesh need to realise that forcing the bowler to bowl at you will make the opposition’s life harder rather than playing loosely outside the off stump with a packed slip cordon waiting to pounce. Imrul Kayes is certainly not a viable, long term no. 3 option for Bangladesh. Part of the reason he averages only 20 after 18 Tests is because of his lack of awareness in terms of where his off stump is. He plays at far too many deliveries outside his off stump in the early part of the innings. Bangladesh need a more solid, stable no. 3 and Mushfiqur Rahim is the man for the job. He was the main shining light in a disappointing outing for Bangladesh’s batsmen. He scored 48* in the first innings, stranded when his team was bowled out for just 182, and scored 116 in the second dig. Sure, he was dropped a few times but he has the best technique in the team and is the most reliable batsmen by far. Personally, I think he should let go of wicketkeeping and focus solely on being a batsman in that no.3 position. He and the team would benefit more than him being at 6. Other performances which were positive were the half centuries to Mominul Haque (1st innings), Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah (2nd innings). Mominul Haque showed the huge potential he had, looking very organised in his knock of 51 in the first innings. If he can kick on and have a good 2nd Test, Bangladesh will be more competitive. Tamim Iqbal again showed why he’s considered a very talented player with a well composed 2nd innings half century. However, he again showed that he makes too many starts without converting, throwing his wicket away when trying to drive Suliemann Benn through the covers off the back foot against the turn. He should be averaging 45 rather than 36. Mahmudullah has been a man under pressure but has ensured his spot for the next Test with a fighting 66 in the 2nd innings. His 130 run partnership with Mushfiqur gave Bangladesh hope but their 5th morning performance (namely Nasir Hossain’s awful shot and Bangladesh’s non-existent tail) extinguished all hope of salvaging a draw.

Chris Gayle dropped one of many catches on the 4th & 5th day
Kemar Roach took 4 second innings wickets 

The West Indies won comfortably in the end but that was more down to Bangladesh’s incompetency rather than their brilliant cricket. There wasn’t enough here to suggest that they’ll push India and South Africa in their next Test assignments. Firstly, their catching was appalling, dropping some absolute sitters. If I dropped the same catches in Grade Cricket, I’d be hearing about it for months and rightly so. Also, their batting was solid without being great. The second day run rate of 2.50 was poor and if you are playing against a better side, you don’t win a Test where you waste a day’s play. They should show a little more authority against a moderate attack so they hold themselves in better stead for the tougher games ahead. However, the West Indies would be delighted with Kraigg Brathwaite’s runs. He’s considered a player with great potential, and if he does well in India & South Africa in the coming months, then the West Indies could have a serious player on their hands. Despite his 212, tougher tests await and it’ll be interesting to see how he goes. There were runs for Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Shiv Chanderpaul also, and the West Indies will hope that those runs act as confidence boosters for the next Test. In addition, their bowling was pretty solid with Suliemann Benn and Kemar Roach proving their worth well in the Test. The West Indies would want to see an improved performance from Jerome Taylor while Shannon Gabriel showed improvement after his poor New Zealand tour, bowling with good pace and accuracy.

So what I took out from the game was that the West Indies, despite winning handsomely in the end, still have so much work to do if they are going to climb up the rankings. That is literally the case too, with a 2-0 series win only handing them 1 ranking point. While this is a negative for the West Indies, this is also the case for Bangladesh as they lost heavily to an opponent who I felt didn’t really play that well. If the West Indies play like they have in this Test, they won’t only experience problems from India & South Africa, but also from Bangladesh in the 2nd Test as I back them to put an improved showing at St Lucia.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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