POST TIME: 9 December, 2018 12:20:18 AM
Bangladesh look wary of WI big hitter
Mash set to become first Tiger to play 200 ODIs
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Bangladesh look wary of WI big hitter

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza addresses the press yesterday at the media block of Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium ahead of their ODI series with West Indies. BCB Photo

Bangladesh looks wary of West Indies’s big hitter, who possessed muscle power enough to change the complexion of the game, specially in the shorter format. The recent India series was an example of how capable their big hitters are to destroy the bowling line up on their days and Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza pointed this out as the visitors’ strong link as his side takes on the Caribbean side in the first of three-match ODI series today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka

West Indies finally couldn’t win the series in India but scared them hugely as their big hitters forced mighty India to win by fighting hard, which was not predicted before the series. West Indies in fact haven’t won any bilateral series since their victory against Bangladesh in 2014 at home and whitewashed at the hands of Bangladesh in two-match Test series.

When the talk of 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series gains momentum Mashrafe who will be the first Bangladeshi player to play 200th ODI match when the first match starts today, urged his side not to be complacent and think about whitewash.

“The ODI series doesn’t start still, so there is no scope of thinking about whitewash. The first match is always important,” Mashrafe said in the pre-match conference yesterday.

“They have the muscle power and they can change the momentum of the game at any point. They have some big hitters and we have seen them destroying any bowling line up. So we have to be careful in this aspect. The shorter the format is, the better they are. So I think, it’s good for us to be focused on the first match rather than thinking of whitewash.”

After sweeping the Test series, a BCB XI side, formed mostly with the national players, comfortably beat West Indies in the practice game, gunning down their big total. Mashrafe who led the side in practice game, said, there will be hardly any scope that they would get such sort of wicket in ODI series.

“But the confidence that we should gain, we got it from the practice match. In fact we have been doing well in this format since the Asia Cup. We must carry on it. If you think of whitewash at this point, it will create unnecessary pressure,” he remarked. ‘’If we do well in every department there is a chance for us. Especially how the wicket will behave during batting will determine a lot of things. If it helps during the batting it will be challenging for the bowlers. Basically judging the wicket will be very important. As the last two games are at Mirpur, so initially judging the wicket will be important,’’ he said.

Bangladesh managed to win 11 out of the 17 ODI’s they played in 2018 while lost six ODI’s that includes the final loss to India in the last Asia Cup where they have displayed some superb brand of 50-over format cricket apart from the final.

Mashrafe for whom it could well be his last home series said he is eyeing to end the year on a winning note as they head for a three-match series ODI’s series against West Indies.

‘’This year our percentage of winning is very good apart from the two losses in the final. Obviously if we could win a final that would have been better specially the Asia Cup. I think it would be great if we can end the year on a winning note. There will be lot of challenges from the beginning of next year so doing well at the end of the year will be good for us.”

Even though Bangladesh employed four-pronged spin attack in the Test series and didn’t include any pacer in the second Test, Mashrafe hinted that they would go with their traditional three-men pace attack in the ODI series.

“Shakib is there and Mahmudullah is bowling well from the Asia Cup so we have enough spin options. We have a pace bowling all-rounder in Saifuddin who grabbed his opportunity nicely in the series against Zimbabwe. I don’t think we have to back out from the three pacer formula in ODI series.

Even our pacers won us game in the flat wicket in ODI cricket. But you can compare ODI and Test cricket. In ODI, there is powerplay for 40 overs, so the batsmen can go on berserk against spinners, what is not possible against pacers,” Mashrafe clarified.