Jubilliant Bangladesh will joyfully celebrate the inauguration of iconic mega project; unique for many reasons Padma Multipurpose bridge tomorrow 25th June 2022.
South and North will integrate. Few thousand kilometres away at Darren Sammy Stadium St Lucia Bengal Tigers will lock horns against Caribbean resurging giants in the second test of Padma Bridge Test series. Teams have different perspectives.
A straight win will take West Indies ahead of Pakistan in ICC Test Championship points table.
Bangladesh will leave nothing unturned to win for stabilising their sagging morale. In 22 years since starting their journey in test cricket Bangladesh played 133 tests losing 99.
They will definitely not want beautiful St Lucia going down in Bangladesh Cricket story as the witness of 100th test defeat. Bangladeshis adoring their cricket heroes will love to see Bengal tigers fighting tooth and nail.
West Indies lead the two match test series 1-0 having won the 1st test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.
The ODDs are very much in favour of the home team. But with few changes and learning few lessons from 7 wickets defeat who knows whether Bangladesh may turn around.
The bowlers looked competitive in one 1.33 innings of West Indies. Shakib and Sohan courageously batted in the second innings showing the teeth of the tigers. It needs consolidation and application of the batters.
West Indies (Probable)
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), John Campbell, Raymon Reifer, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva (wicket keeper), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Gudakesh Motie, and Jayden Seales.
Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Litton Das Nurul Hasan Sohan (Wicket Keeper,) Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Khaled Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, and Ebadot Hossain.
West Indies has little reason to change their winning combination though their late middle order batting in the first innings failed apart dealing with drift of Mehedy Miraj and top order got blown away by Khaled typhoon.
But they have a good measure of Bangladesh attack and their batsmen will definitely not make the mistakes they committed at Antigua.
Captain Brathwaite appears like the rock of Gibraltar though he could be removed before scoring in the first innings as he succumbed to Khaled’s burst in the first. He sets stabilizing impact to the innings.
Campbell is developing into a useful opener. Reifer experiment at three did not work at Antigua.
But WI can afford have patience with him. Bonner, Blackwood, Meyers and Joshua are maturing with every matches. As far as the bowling is concerned Kemar Roach would continue to panic Bangladesh.
With few days rest Aljarri Josef and Jayden Seals will be more difficult to deal with. Meyers at 4th seam bowler created issues for Bangladesh in both innings. St Lucia wicket assists pace.
Hence Bangladeshis will require far better application and prudence in dealing with WI attack.
As far as Bangladesh is concerned top order and bottom order both look empty. Induction of experienced Anamul Haq Bijoy may give some stability.
But it is extremely difficult for a player returning to red ball cricket after few years to bounce back into action straightaway.
One former Bangladesh cricket icon told this writer that Bijoy has better technique than many in Bangladesh cricket and should have been in the test team much earlier.
Whatever be the case Tamim at the top must apply instead of playing some glory shot and getting out after seeing off the red cherry.
Joy showed some patience in the second innings but got out in not too intelligent manner. It will be logical giving Nazmul Shanto musch needed rest. If Bangladesh had options could have rested Mominul as well.
But that can frustrate him further. Hope a batsman who scored 11 test centuries can gather himself well and turn around. Shakib must bat at 5 in this line up and also apply.
He scored fifties in both innings but with some deeper concentration he could convert at least one into triple figure. He should judge his own technique before talking negative about his teammates.
Litton must have seen in the match footprint how he got out in both innings. He must make hay while sun is shining for him.
Hope Sohan will prove that his batting was not one off as he did in the second innings.
Much more is expected off Miraj with the bat. It will be wise giving Mustafiz rest.
He does not enjoy bowling with red ball. Moreover, adjusting with duke ball is an issue.
I am not sure whether Shoriful is 100% match fit and how much time he got for acclimatizing. Anyway, with T20 and ODI series coming next Mustafiz must not be burnt out. He looked a little stiff in the second innings.
Records evidence that conditions have mostly favoured fast bowlers at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium. In the West Indies-South Africa Test series held there last year, neither team reached 300 in the first innings.
There is strong likelihood of showers from the third day onwards in this game. However toss will turn out very important. Team winning will like to bowl. Bangladeshis would love to see their team applying their everything for glorifying the nation.
BDST: 1226 HRS, JUNE 24, 2022