DHAKA: Bangladesh will be looking for a rare Test series win when they take on the West Indies in the second and final Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Friday.
The home side lead the two-match series 1-0 thanks to their 64-run win the first Test in Chittagong when their spinners accounted for all 20 West Indies wickets.
A win in Dhaka will give Bangladesh only their fourth Test series win in history and first since 2014 when they triumphed over Zimbabwe 3-0 at home.
Bangladesh came close to winning series twice in the past two years, respectively against Australia and Sri Lanka but on both occasions, they stumbled at the final hurdle.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan said his team has the ability to overcome the odds.
“We have a challenge and we believe we can overcome this,” Shakib said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“Naturally, West Indies will also go into the match more excited. They will give their best to win. We have to perform better than them, more than what we did in Chittagong,” he said.
“It will be very special for us if we can win the series 2-0…whatever it requires we are preparing to do that,” he said.
“If it is not possible to win, our target will be taking series 1-0, because the ultimate target is winning the series.”
Shakib promised positive cricket.
“But we don’t want to win series by playing defensive cricket. We will go into the match with a positive frame of mind,” he said.
Bangladesh’s chances, however, got a blow when wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim hurt his finger during a training session on Wednesday.
Though Shakib did not rule out Mushfiqur playing the game, the home side had recalled Liton Das as a back-up option.
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said he remained optimistic despite the challenge ahead.
“Staying positive on this type of wicket is key. The bounce varied a lot in the first Test,” said Brathwaite.
“The onus is on ourselves to trust our defence and attacking methods. I think the key is to be light in your feet, and treat each ball as it comes.”
The visitors will miss pace bowler Shannon Gabriel, who was banned from the second Test after being handed two demerit points in the first.
Gabriel was the pick of the West Indies bowlers in a spin-oriented pitch, claiming four wickets in a short spell in the first innings that had nearly swung the game to their way.
Brathwaite said he was “backing both spin and pace to do a good job” unsettling Bangladesh.
“There will obviously be a balance. Spin did most of the damage in the first Test but it doesn’t mean pacers can’t take wickets,” he said.
The West Indies will also play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals against Bangladesh during their month-long tour.