West Indies began the tri-series with a bang, trouncing hosts Ireland by 196 runs in the opening game. Their next game is against Bangladesh in Clontarf and for West Indies, the opposition is one that has emerged as their closest competitor on the rankings table, and a side they haven’t dominated in ODIs over the last few months.
West Indies openers, John Campbell and Shai Hope, were the stars of the win against Ireland, with their world-record 365-run opening stand, which lasted 47.2 overs. While it undoubtedly smothered Ireland, their batting would have come as a breath of fresh air for West Indies, particularly given the bowling-friendly pitches in Ireland. The partnership was also yet another statement of West Indies’ intent heading into the World Cup.
Their performances left little for the West Indies bowlers to do in the 196-run win. Ashley Nurse’s four wickets were on the expensive side but the offspinner could afford a bit of flight, given the massive score he was defending. Shannon Gabriel made a fine comeback in ODIs : in his first match since December 2017, Gabriel had returns of 3-44. Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell were also among the wickets.
Bangladesh will head into this game raring to turn things around after an ordinary outing against the Ireland Wolves, where they lost by 88 runs. They have a settled enough ODI line-up that beat West Indies in two ODI series in 2018, but given the number of players recovering from injuries, there is likely to be a shuffle.
Shakib Al Hasan, who missed the New Zealand tour, is likely to bat at No 3, which would open up the middle-order, while Mohammad Mithun could return to batting between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah.
With Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin all returning from injuries, the bowling line-up will largely depend on Mashrafe Mortaza. Taskin Ahmed and Abu Jayed have the chance to stake claims and Mehidy Hasan could also feature if they are keen on playing two spinners.
West Indies: WWLWL (Last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
After his score of 179, the fourth-highest individual ODI score by a West Indies batsman, it may not be a surprise if the selectors decide to include John Campbell in the World Cup squad. According to ICC rules, teams can modify their squads before the final deadline on May 23.
Mohammad Mithun struck two fifties in the ODI series against New Zealand and looked most the comfortable among the Bangladesh batsmen in those conditions. Having been given a longer run at No. 5, he will be expected to take on more responsibility.
After their resounding 196-run win over Ireland, West Indies are unlikely to change their playing XI. Fabian Allen, Shane Dowrich and the uncapped Raymon Reifer are likely to miss out again.
West Indies (probable): 1 John Campbell, 2 Shai Hope (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Jason Holder (capt), 5 Jonathan Carter, 6 Sunil Ambris, 7 Roston Chase, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 Shannon Gabriel
Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Mithun, who had missed Bangladesh’s last ODI in Dunedin due to injury, could be included. Pacer Farhad Reza may have to step up in case Mohammad Saifuddin has not fully recovered from his tennis elbow.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mohammad Mithun, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Mohamad Saifuddin/Farhad Reza, 9 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Pitch and conditions
The forecast suggests chances of rain during the game in Dublin. The pitch at Castle Avenue is generally helpful to seamers but West Indies’ massive score in the first game will leave batsmen quietly confident.
Stats and trivia
Farhad Reza played his last ODI in December 2011, before nine players from the current Bangladesh squad had made their debut in the format.
West Indies have put up 380-plus scores twice since February 2019.