West Indies v Bangladesh
Thursday 16 June, 14:30
TV: live on BT Sport
West Indies miss two big players
West indies are not at full strength, which is a shame as they look to build on that impressive series victory over England. There is no Jason Holder, who is rested, while Kemar Roach has an injury picked when playing for Surrey.
They have picked a 12-man squad and it's pretty simple to work out the XI given that two of them are keepers - Josh Da Silva and Devon Thomas. Unless Thomas plays as a batsman, the Windies will hand a debut to slow-left arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and pacer Anderson Philip.
At 31, Raymon Reifer is a surprise pick to play only his second Test since debut in 2017. John Campbell retains his place in the opening berth but Shamarh Brooks has been dropped.
Probable XI: Brathwaite, Campbell, Bonner, Blackwood, Mayers, Da Silva, Joseph, Reifer, Seales, Gudakesh Motie, Philip.
Fizz returns for Bang
Bangladesh are also without a key player. Mushfiqur Rahim is unavailable due to a pilgrimage. Finding enough faith to reckon they can be competitive may be an issue, then.
They are at least bolstered by other star names. Indeed, arguably their best three players are in the squad; opener Tamim Iqbal, all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
There is much hope that Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Najmul Shanto can progress to be batting stars. Mominul Haque skippers with keeper Liton Das required to be a middle-order rock. The return of all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz is a boost after a hand injury.
With Rahman's return, Bangladesh seem well-stocked with pace option. Taijul Islam could be a significant threat with the new ball.
Possible XI: Tamim, Joy, Shanto, Haq, Shakib, Das, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan, Hossain, Taijul, Mustafizur
The last three Tests at North Sound have been draws. And it is hard not to reckon there will be another once you cast your mind back to the stalemate involving England in March. It was about as flat as it gets.
There was a view that it was deliberately so to ensure five days of play for the English tourists but when you consider that in the two previous draws (both against Sri Lanka) a wicket fell on average every 18 and 25 in the last two innings of each match, we have to expect runs. Bet the runs lines here. We'd be keen to be going over 320s, 330s.
Backing the draw
West Indies are 1.748/11, Bangladesh 4.30100/30 and the draw 4.804/1. Given the history of the wicket it is a surprise that the stalemate is the outsider of the three.
And that makes it pretty simple for punters. At the very least we expect the draw to trade odds-on. So there is a basic back-to-lay trade on offer from a very healthy starting point. Bet the match odds here.
The price about the hosts is particularly poor. One would need the head read taking those odds about a side who has been terribly inconsistent and it not at full-strength.
And who knows what you get with Bangladesh. The usual chaos and collapsing? Or the machine which destroyed New Zealand?
Kraigg Brathwaite is Mr Reliable for West Indies on the top-bat market. Sportsbook have very generously boosted him to a whopping 3/1 to take honours in first-innings. On win rate we would have been all over 11/4.
Brathwaite also has a hit rate of 55% for a first-innings fifty in the last two years so 11/10 is a wager also. (1pt) back Bet the Sportsbook odds here
For Bangladesh top bat, there have been 13 different winners in the last three years. Unfortunately, the man who has won most is Mushfiqur. Tamim has three wins in nine and Shakib one in six. Not much study sample to back up bets at 5/2 and 6/1 respectively.
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