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West Indies vs Bangladesh 1st ODI Preview

Written by Rick John Henry for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

West Indies vs Bangladesh | Wednesday 20 August | St George’s, Grenada | 15:30

Bangladesh make a welcome return the Caribbean, the setting for some of the minnows’ greatest cricketing achievements. The tourists have had a torrid 2014 on top of the suspension of their best player, and with a new coaching contingent looking to take Bangladesh cricket in an upward direction, they could not have asked for a better destination to travel at this crucial time. The West Indies have stars returning from injury and a new-look selection panel that will help them better streamline their erratic player base ahead of the World Cup. They’ll be eager to put a fairly indifferent year behind them with a resounding series victory against the tourists.

To Win
West Indies 1/4
Tie 35/1
Bangladesh 32/10

West Indies
After a lengthy injury layoff, Dwayne Bravo is back in the West Indies’ ODI squad and will captain the side for the series with Bangladesh. He has been out of action since the beginning of this year’s IPL, damaging his shoulder fielding for the Chennai Super Kings. His comeback came during the recent Caribbean Premier League, leading Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel to the semi-finals. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Kemar Roach have also made comebacks from injury and have been included as additions to the squad that played against England, at home, in March. Kieron Powell, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Smith have all been axed following poor performances with the bat. Smith recorded two centuries in the Caribbean Premier League but his other six scores from his eight innings were poor and deemed not good enough to warrant selection here. The West Indies will be hoping for positive results after appointing Clive Lloyd as the new convenor of the selection panel, along with additions Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Walsh. Legends of West Indies cricket, the islands will hope that their former genius can reach a consensus on the best side to represent the region.

Big news in the Bangladesh camp is the suspension of their best player, Shakib Al Hasan. The player threatened to retire from Test and ODI cricket when ordered to return home from the Caribbean Premier League to attend a Bangladeshi training camp. This is the first time that a cricketer from Bangladesh has made such a threat and the board have responded with a severe punishment. Not only will Shakib Al Hasan be prevented from playing for his country for the next six months, he will also be unable to ply his trade in lucrative overseas domestic T20 leagues until the end of 2015, having had his NOC revoked. It has been a long time coming for Al Hasan, who has struggled with other disciplinary trouble in recent times. Bangladesh cricket are making an example of Al Hasan, lest other members of their team follow in his footsteps. Without the talented all-rounder, Bangladesh will have to make repairs to an already fragile batting order as well as make due without his spin on West Indian tracks that would have suited him. The batting is a big area of concern for the tourists, with Iqbal, Mahmudullah and Hossein in lean patches. Imrul Kayes will be considered as he is in good form and was successful in the West Indies with Bangladesh A. In terms of the bowling, the likes of Mortaza and Taskin Ahmed have impressed in seaming conditions while the spinners have claimed the majority of the wickets in the last twelve months. A disciplined attack will go a long way in securing success on the islands.

St George’s in Grenada plays host to the opening ODI and, with a lack of cricket in recent years, looks set to be packed with West Indian support. The West Indies haven’t lost an ODI at the ground since 2008 against Australia, but have only played three since then and all against Zimbabwe. In the same manner as most of the Caribbean, it will likely play slow and offer something to the spinners. Rain is forecast for the day and early evening, which may necessitate a shortened fixture.

BEST: Top West Indies Batsman, Darren Bravo 4/1
Although Brian Lara’s greatest imitator hasn’t been in the runs of late, some of his best performances for the West Indies have come at Grenada. He’s struggled through the Caribbean Premier League, but T20 cricket isn’t his forte. I expect him to impress here. Get on!

VERDICT: West Indies 1/4
The price is rather short for any punter who enjoys value, but I can’t see a makeshift Bangladesh side in the throes of scandal and transition overcoming a resolute, if unremarkable, West Indies side. Although the conditions in the Caribbean play to Bangladeshi strengths, they’ll be lucky to escape the series without three drubbings.

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