After a pitiful display against India, the West Indies have a chance to redeem themselves in a must-win clash against Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Date: Tuesday, March 25
Start time: 1:30 p.m. GMT
Weather: According to Accuweather, a thunderstorm is likely. The weather in Bangladesh has been quite unpredictable as of late, but one thing is for sure: It will be humid.
As the defending champions, much better was expected from the West Indies in their opening clash against India. While the opposition was superb, the Windies almost looked disinterested. It wasn't even a case of their devil-may-care swagger being mistaken for apathy, it was just flat-out apathy.
Round 1 goes to team India. TeamWindies will come back stronger #wibelieve— Darren Sammy (@darrensammy88) March 23, 2014
A big improvement is needed if they hope to progress to the next round. Bangladesh have some momentum after playing at match-level intensity in the qualifiers already (although they did lose to Hong Kong in their previous game). Following the West Indies' showing against India, the hosts will probably fancy their chances for what many will consider "an upset."
The truth is that in the shortest format of the game, when one side doesn't seem to care and the other doesn't always know how to play, nothing can be considered an upset. Bangladesh have the advantage of their home crowd and the West Indies have the advantage of Sunil Narine and Chris Gayle, provided they actually show up for the game this time.
The Dhaka track hasn't turned quite as much as its Chittagong counterpart and has offered much more for the batsmen. That the West Indies failed to take advantage will be one of their biggest concerns. Everyone from Gayle to Sammy need to reassess their game plan. The Bangladesh team is packed with spinners who are there to be attacked, and any score below 140 will be a failure.
Bangladesh continue to grow as cricketing nation, and what they lack in skill and ability, they more than make up for in their enthusiasm—both in their players and in the crowd. For them to host the tournament on their own has been a brilliant thing and if their players and their fans believe enough, then they have a chance to overcome the West Indies.
Somebody in the West Indies side needs to play a thumping innings, and when it comes to hard hitting, nobody does it better than Chris Gayle. He was dropped twice against India and couldn't middle the ball at all. The law of averages says that this surely can't go on.
Anamul Haque was solid in the qualifiers and has scored 112 runs at an average of 56.00 in three games. With a track fit for batting, it's important for the top-order batsman to set the tone right from the start.
Darren Sammy (capt.), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle,Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque (wkt), Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain.