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Bangladesh have never waited this long to play an international fixture ever since they attained Test status more than 20 years ago. On Wednesday (January 20), they will step out on the park for the first time since March 11, 2020. It's been a frustrating long wait for a cricket crazy nation. During this period, the Bangladesh Cricket Board kept their players engaged with a couple of domestic tournaments but nothing comes closer to the real deal.
To make up for lost time, Bangladesh have already declared that they are looking at building a team for the 2023 World Cup. And that is precisely why they have ignored their former captain Mashrafe Mortaza in spite of him signalling his intentions to carry on playing. They have also added three uncapped players to their 18-man squad hoping to integrate them into the set-up. Rubel Hossain makes a comeback and Tamim Iqbal will be leading his side in a full-fledged series for the first time ever since being named captain.
The focus though will not be on any of these men at least for the time being. It's a comeback of sorts for Bangladesh's most celebrated cricketer as well. The cricketing world was stunned when Shakib Al Hasan received a ban for not reporting a corrupt approach. As a result, the allrounder hasn't featured for the national side since September 2019. He has looked rusty in the domestic tournaments at home but will be determined to make an immediate impact and get going.
Unlike Bangladesh, West Indies have been quite busy since cricket restarted. In fact, they were involved in the first series when they travelled to England. Most recently, they were in New Zealand as well and have come to Bangladesh with some cricket under their belt. However, some of their top players made themselves unavailable for this series which forced Jason Mohammed to straightaway take captaincy on his comeback. On paper, a rejuvenated full-strength Bangladesh look outright favourites against this depleted West Indies outfit.
When: January 20, 2021 at 2 PM local time, 1.30 PM IST
Where: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
What to expect: Temperatures will be fairly pleasant. Team that wins the toss is likely to prefer bowling first considering it's also a day-night game.
Head coach Russell Domingo has clearly stated that Shakib will not be batting at number 3 this series like he did in the World Cup in 2019. Najmul Hossain Shanto is all set to take up that spot with Shakib bolstering the middle order. It will be interesting to see the make up of the fast bowling unit.
Meanwhile, Soumya Sarkar was hit on the jaw in the nets but the team physician confirmed to Cricbuzz that there is no reason to worry.
Whichever XI the visitors put out on the park, it's going to be a massive challenge for Jason Mohammed's side. Will Clive Lloyd's inspirational message work wonders?
Bangladesh Squad: Tamim Iqbal (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahedi Hasan
West Indies Squad: Jason Mohammed (c), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Hayden Walsh, Keon Harding
What they said
''And it (batting at No. 4) will give him (Shakib) more space because he is going to make a comeback after a long time. We all know how good he was at No. 4. His record is enough to back this claim" - Tamim, Bangladesh skipper.
Bangladesh Squad: Tamim Iqbal(c), Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Mehidy Hasan, Afif Hossain, Shoriful Islam
West Indies Squad: Joshua Da Silva(w), Sunil Ambris, Jason Mohammed(c), Andre McCarthy, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Jahmar Hamilton, Keon Harding, Kjorn Ottley
Melbourne Renegades Squad: Aaron Finch(c), Shaun Marsh, Sam Harper(w), Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, Beau Webster, Imad Wasim, Will Sutherland, Kane Richardson, Peter Hatzoglou, Noor Ahmad, Jack Prestwidge, Mitchell Perry, Brayden Stepien, Brody Couch
Melbourne Stars Squad: Andre Fletcher, Marcus Stoinis, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell(c), Nic Maddinson, Hilton Cartwright, Seb Gotch(w), Adam Zampa, Liam Hatcher, Billy Stanlake, Zahir Khan, Jackson Coleman, Sam Rainbird, Lance Morris, Clint Hinchliffe
South Africa Women Squad: Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Mignon du Preez, Sune Luus(c), Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Klerk, Trisha Chetty(w), Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Tumi Sekhukhune, Lara Goodall, Sinalo Jafta, Anne Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Faye Tunnicliffe, Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba
Pakistan Women Squad: Nahida Khan, Ayesha Zafar, Javeria Khan(c), Omaima Sohail, Nida Dar, Aliya Riaz, Sidra Nawaz(w), Diana Baig, Nashra Sandhu, Anam Amin, Muneeba Ali, Aiman Anwer, Kainat Imtiaz, Fatima Sana, Sadia Iqbal, Syeda Aroob Shah, Ayesha Naseem
IND won by 3 wkts
PRS won by 59 runs
HAR won by 4 runs
DEL won by 110 runs
MP won by 2 runs
GOA won by 16 runs
MGLY won by 8 wkts
NGL won by 8 wkts
BIH won by 6 wkts
CDG won by 7 wkts