Two teams that are on the verge of getting knocked out from the seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup are set to lock horns against each other at Sharjah today afternoon at 4.00 pm Bangladesh time.
Both the sides are going into this Group 1 clash with literally zero momentum. Bangladesh’s performance has been below par right from the beginning of the tournament.
Even though they managed to secure victories against Oman and PNG in Round One, their performance was not as clinical or professional as expected from a Test Playing nation – neither planning-wise nor execution-wise.
However, the team were more interested in gunning down the criticisms. But it was always on the cards that such inherent flaws in planning and execution, if not identified and rectified, would start to hurt while facing more formidable opponents.
And that is exactly what happened in the round of Super 12 so far – falling short against Sri Lanka from a very much winning position and getting completely outplayed against England, both illustrating a number of errors in terms of execution and planning.
Bangladesh left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed was honest about his team’s current miseries as he said to the post-match press conference, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo,
“We speak about the batting failure. We are unable to score runs in the first six overs, which is keeping us behind the game. We are also losing wickets (in the powerplay). Everyone wants to do well but we are not able to do it.”
West Indies, on the other hand, are finding it difficult to adjust to the double-paced nature of the pitches. They struggled to score runs in both the Warm-Up games against Pakistan (130/7) and Afghanistan (133/5) respectively.
Afterwards, they had a horrendous batting display against England, getting bowled out for only 55 – the third-lowest total overall and the lowest by any Test Playing Nation in the history of T20 World Cup.
The following game had West Indies score their highest runs this month, but that too was only 143/8.
In such circumstances, both these teams find themselves at the bottom of the table. One more defeat from here will confirm their disqualification from the tournament. The vice-captain of West Indies Nicholas Pooran said, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo, that they understand the scenario and are up for the challenge.
“Yeah, I think Bangladesh after losing two games - they are in the same situation as us as well. So, I think it's going to be a good challenge for us tomorrow (today). We need to get that victory and play in Sharjah as well... We know Bangladesh have a lot of spinners as well. It's definitely going to be a challenge for us as well and it's how bad we actually want it.”
Both teams are less likely to make any changes in the starting XI from their respective previous games.
However, there is an outside chance that West Indies might decide to bench Lendl Simmons and bring Andre Fletcher to replace him while Bangladesh might opt for resting Litton Das and giving Soumya Sarkar a go at the opening slot.
Again, it is highly unlikely that Bangladesh will break their three-spinner two-seamer combination. However, if they want to swap the numbers considering the size of the boundary in Sharjah, Taskin Ahmed might get back into the side replacing Nasum Ahmed.
These two teams have met each other on 12 occasions so far. West Indies claimed victory six times against Bangladesh’s five. Two of those meetings were in World Cups – where both sides had the last laugh for once each.
The writer is currently studying at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (IBA-DU).