Bangladesh chases series sweep vs West Indies
SYLHET, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh is wary of a West Indies backlash as the hosts chase a tour sweep with victory in their upcoming Twenty20 series.
The first of three T20s starts Monday and could prove a harder test for Bangladesh, with West Indies currently world champions in the shortest format of the game.
With Bangladesh chasing its first tour sweep against any country, after winning the test series 2-0 and the ODI series 2-1, head coach Steve Rhodes said his team is keen to carry the momentum into the T20 series.
“We desperately want to do it and it’s going to be a lot tougher than the other two series because this is the format West Indies excel at,” Rhodes said Sunday.
Bangladesh enjoyed a surprising 2-1 ODI win over West Indies in July during its Caribbean tour.
“We played well in the one-dayers and we should take a lot of confidence from that,” Rhodes said.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan, used to playing in big domestic T20 tournaments around the world, is an injury concern after hurting his toe on an inswinger from pacer Mohammad Saifuddin during practice.
“He’s fine. He got a little knock on the foot,” said Rhodes. “I’d be very surprised if he wakes up tomorrow and there’s any issue to be perfectly honest.”
Bangladesh has won four T20 matches in 13 this year, and West Indies just two out of 12. The world champions are also on a five-match losing streak.
But West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite is determined to end the year on a high.
“The people back home deserve a Christmas gift,” Brathwaite said. “We hope to close out the year with a win. We still think T20 is our premier format.”
Brathwaite said “passion and hunger will take us over the line and not just close to the line. We want to find ways to win in a more consistent basis.”
The second T20 is on Thursday, and the final ODI on Saturday, both at Dhaka.