Spin trap set
MIRPUR – Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim is banking on his spinners to pull off an upset win over defending champions West Indies in the World Twenty20 today.
“We know their strengths and weaknesses and if the wicket helps the spinners, we obviously have a plan,” Rahim said yesterday. “Anyone can win in Twenty20 cricket and if we play to potential and execute our plans there is every chance that we’ll win tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to that.”
But West Indies coach Ottis Gibson doesn’t seem that worried, even though his team failed miserably with the bat in their first match against India.
“Spin in this format has not always been a problem for us,” Gibson said. “There may have only been some instances when we didn’t play spin well and last night the Indian spinners did bowl very well. I do believe that the Bangladesh spinners are different and so they’ll have a different approach.”
Gibson also did not agree to the perceived West Indies handicap of failing to run enough singles and aiming to only hit boundary shots.
“Some teams have players that can hit the ball in the stands easily. Some players hit the gaps easily. It works both ways. Based on what happened last night, people will start to make assumptions,” Gibson said. “The way I see it, India bowled well and we didn’t get a lot of singles, but we normally don’t get a lot of singles.”
The West Indian batsmen were made to struggle by Indian slow bowlers on Sunday with leg-spinner Amit Mishra continuing his fine form with a spell of 2-18 that helped control the game and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja supporting him with 3-48.
Bangladesh will look to experienced left-arm spinners Shakib Al-Hasan and Abdur Razzak to do the trick for them with off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah another option on a venue that has seen spinners prosper.
Rahim said he was hoping the pressure would be on the West Indies after they put up a lacklustre effort in a seven-wicket loss to India on Sunday.
“They did not have a good game so they’ll be under pressure. It’s a must-win game for them,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
But Rahim conceded that the team would have to quickly put behind a shock two-wicket loss to Hong Kong in the last round of the qualifying league if they expected to fight it out in the Super 10 stage.
“It’s not easy to come back from the humiliating defeat but I think it’s a game of cricket and anything can happen. It’s difficult to play consistent cricket in T20 format but the West Indies are the defending champions, so hopefully we’ll give them a very hard time,” Rahim said.
India lead the group with seven-wicket wins over Pakistan and the West Indies. (BA/AP)