Bangladesh may field unchanged line-up

Published: March 4, 2011

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The Bangladesh brain trust has included Mahmudullah Riyad in the twelve-man team for today’s World Cup group B match in a bid to tackle the barrage of left-handers from the West Indies.

When asked of possible changes from the team that played against Ireland on February 25, Tigers captain Shakib Al Hasan confirmed that Riyad’s inclusion would be solely to equip the team in the off-spinning front. If picked, the 25-year-old all-rounder who played against India in the World Cup opener before being left out to accommodate Mohammad Ashraful will be expected to bowl his off-spin in the early Powerplay overs as well as provide batting support down the order.

“(Mahmudullah) Riyad has been included in the twelve. They have four left-handers and he could be used in the Powerplay overs,” said Shakib during yesterday’s official press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

“We have enough spinners to bowl up to 40 overs,” he said, adding that if Ashraful is included, a batting promotion for the 26-year-old has not been discussed.

Shakib would make the final call on the morning of the game but it is likely that an unchanged line-up would be continued, despite the batting flaws in the win over Ireland.

“There were mistakes in the last game and we will rectify those. I think our batsmen are capable of achieving the targets they set themselves,” he added.

Having defeated the West Indies quite comprehensively the last time the two sides met in 2009, albeit under altered circumstances, Shakib was evidently not very concerned about his team’s chances, though he also pointed out that this is a far different proposition.

“They have some senior players, a good mix of experience and youth. We have to play our best to beat them. We have to play good cricket to win and if we do, it will be a step forward towards qualification to the next round.

“We are not banking too much on tomorrow’s (Friday’s) game but we are looking forward to the whole tournament,” explained Shakib.

Shakib’s heroics against West Indies during that milestone series in the Caribbean was topped off by his six to seal the victory at St George’s, but the all-rounder prefers looking forward.

“The memory of that series definitely comes back sometimes and yes, it was a turning point. But I wouldn’t like to dwell on it too much,” commented Shakib.

The 23-year-old also didn’t want to talk about the toss or the wicket but said that the Mirpur track would not be offering Bangalore-esque scores (338, 338, 327 and 328). “It is a different wicket,” said Shakib. “I don’t think we should talk much about the wicket and neither about the toss.”

Shakib also made a strong statement about the implementation of the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS), endorsing the new law. “I think the UDRS is good for the lower-ranked sides. I don’t have any complaints and I think it should be used,” he said.

BANGLADESH-WEST INDIES ENCOUNTERS

Matches:16

Bangladesh won:3

WI won:11

Most fifties: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (4)

Most matches: Mohammad Ashraful (13)

The first ODI between the two sides was played in Dublin during the 1999 World Cup.


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