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Cricket World Cup 2019

Tamim Iqbal: ‘Bangladesh have to expect short balls against West Indies’

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal says that his side have to expect plenty of short balls when they face the West Indies at Taunton on Monday.

After beating South Africa in their first match of the World Cup, Bangladesh have lost twice and had a match abandoned due to rain. As a result, they badly need a victory to have any chance of making the semi-finals.

West Indies are in a similar predicament, with just three points from their four matches so far. Jason Holder’s men beat Pakistan comfortably in their opening World Cup game but defeats to Australia and England have left them with an uphill task to progress to the group stage.

Bangladesh have had a difficult tournament after beating South Africa

In a must-win match for both sides, West Indies may stick to short-pitched bowling, a tactic that has given them some success so far in the tournament. Tamim is wary of the tactic and insists that Bangladesh have to be prepared.

“We normally try to simulate in the nets what our opponents are likely to do,” the opener said. “They (West Indies) usually target us with the short ball, but they do the same against all sides in the first 10 to 15 overs. They also give run-scoring opportunities. We have to prepare for both, that’s why we are working hard in practice.

“We want to make sure it is not a surprise for us. We have an idea about their batsmen and bowlers, but I have noticed their different planning in the World Cup. It is not the same thing that we faced in Ireland or West Indies. They are focusing heavily on the short ball, but if you handle it well, there’ll be opportunities to score runs.”

Tamim, like his team-mates, has faced plenty of pace in his career and is aiming to use that to his advantage when he comes up to West Indies’ fast bowlers.

“The first three bowling attacks I played against in this World Cup (South Africa, New Zealand and England), all were more or less equal” he continued. “West Indies have pace, three bowlers who bowl above 140. The good thing is we have played all three in the last year-and-a-half.

“In the last three matches, I started to play what was required in the first five to seven overs, but somehow, when everything was under control, I gave away my wickets, and that was disappointing because usually it does not happen. I am hopeful if I can get a good start I will be able to do well.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh fast bowling coach Courtney Walsh identified Chris Gayle and Andre Russell as two players his side have to get the better of in order to get a much-needed win.

Walsh took 519 Test wickets for the West Indies

“We are coming up with some ideas and plans looking at their (West Indies) current game [against England],” Walsh said. “They are two dangerous players we have to try to restrict, and get them out at the same time to have more control of the game. We will be focused on their team itself, because they have very good players in their team as well. I am sure we can perform as a team against West Indies.”

Bangladesh beat a West Indies side which featured Gayle and Russell during a tri-series in Ireland prior to the tournament and Walsh is hoping that experience can help Bangladesh.

“It is a big plus for us,” he added. “They are two world-class players. But it is a different tournament. We have to do it all over again. We will be looking in the context of the game itself. We will be seeing players who didn’t come to Bangladesh or play against us in the West Indies.

“They are probably full strength. We have been playing consistently well against West Indies. As long as we don’t take anything for granted or become complacent.”

This article was brought to you in partnership with Betfair Exchange. Always gamble responsibly

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