If the just-concluded Test series against Zimbabwe is anything to go by, Bangladesh have reasons to feel worried about their batting in the upcoming series against West Indies.
The Tigers have clearly struggled against Zimbabwe’s modest attack with Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara testing the batsmen in both matches at Sylhet and Dhaka with their tight bowling.
Jarvis claimed 10 wickets in the series to become the most successful pace bowler of a visiting side since Ben Stokes’ 11-wicket for England in 2016.
Chatara claimed four wickets before injury forced him to miss a large part of the second Test while Donald Tiripano also grabbed three wickets playing just one game.
The success of Zimbabwe pacers on supposedly spinning tracks exposed the weakness of Bangladeshi batsmen against quality pace bowling once again.
With West Indies possessing a more potent pace attack cricket analysts feared things could be catastrophic for Bangladesh in two-Test series, starting on November 22, unless the Tigers improve their batting dramatically.
West Indies have already shown they have the pacers to make life miserable for Bangladesh batsmen with Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Miguel Cummins collectively picking 29 wickets in the two–Test series against Bangladesh in July.
Holder, the highest wicket taker of that series and captain of the side is set to miss the series for injury, but could be replaced by their new pace bowling prospect Oshane Thomas, who had had some success in recent limited over series in India.
‘You have raised an important point. If we cannot handle Zimbabwe pacers, how can we handle West Indies attack? They suppose to have a stronger attack,’ said Bangladesh’s former coach Sarwar Imran.
It would be unfair to compare two teams, he said, adding that Zimbabwe bowlers have got success in the recent series due to their disciplined bowling.
‘It’s not a matter of pace only. They bowled in right areas while there was also some movement in the bowling of Chatara and Jarvis,’ said Imran.
‘They may have bowled in 130km pace. But they adjusted to the condition of pitch to swing the ball and cut it brilliantly. They continuously bowled in the same length, I did not see them giving half-volley or short pitch bowling.
‘I have doubts how West Indies bowlers could do this. But they have some quick bowlers. One new guy is really quick. I cannot remember the name but he put India in trouble in a Twenty20 game,’ he said.
Imran also lamented the failure of Bangladeshi pacers on the same pitch while Jarvis and Chatara got success.
‘Some of our bowlers were bowling not in stumps, mostly outside the off-stump. You cannot be successful in Test bowling this way. Batsmen would leave it anyway. Zimbabwe did it, West Indies would do it definitely,’ he said.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin left the fate of Bangladeshi batsmen on destiny.
‘Very little we can do at this stage if they cannot play pace,’ he said. ‘They failed against Zimbabwe bowlers because they had movement. Now if you play Test match you have to know how to handle this. I hope our batsmen would learn from this series,’ he said.
The first Test against West Indies will take place at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium from November 22-26 while the second Test will be played at Sher-e Bangla National Stadium from November 30.
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