This is the first test series the West Indies team has won at home since 2014 when they beat the same opposition by an identical margin.
It was a creditable performance by a young team trying to find its way in test cricket and provides the West Indian public with something to celebrate and hope for the future. I will highlight three takeaways from this test series.
One of the things that the West Indies did well in this series is that they scored big in the first innings. In the first test match, the team scored 406 in the first innings and 354 in the second test. When a team scores big runs in the first innings of a test match, they can set the tempo of the game and exert a level of control over proceedings for the rest of the game. It also gives a team the confidence to play attacking cricket, which on most occasions result in the team that is chasing the match falling further behind. This template of scoring big runs at first bat is one of the tried and tested ways of winning test matches; this was done well by the West Indies team during this series.
Another takeaway from the series is that fast bowling is alive and well in the Caribbean. Thirty-eight (38) of the forty wickets taken by the West Indies team were taken by the fast bowlers. Jason Holder was the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps; Shannon Gabriel captured eight wickets; Miguel Cummings grabbed six wickets; Kemar Roach captured five wickets; and Keemo Paul who made his debut for the injured Roach in the second test match impressed with three wickets.
The West Indian fast bowlers were aggressive throughout the series and bowled with a level of control that they have lacked in recent times. This, in my opinion, shows that our bowlers are good enough to compete at the test level and just need to exert the same level of discipline and control when playing against tougher opposition in different conditions.
Also, the series showed that Bangladesh still has some ways to go to be competitive in test cricket. Bangladesh has only won two test series in their entire test playing history; the last one coming against a depleted West Indian team in 2009. They have played a total of 104 test matches, winning only 7.
The Bangladeshi team is heavily reliant on performances from senior players Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, and Mushfiqur Rahim to be competitive. None of these players, except Shakib, were able to have any real impact on the series which was a major reason for the heavy defeats. Also, Bangladesh’s bowling department is inexperienced and lacks the quality needed to challenge good test batsmen. This area of their game will have to be addressed if they want a change of fortune in their results going forward.
This test series showed that the West Indies team is still competitive at home and has some talent in the batting unit- Kraigg Braithwaite and Shai Hope are the leading lights. Jason Holder is also showing promise as an all-rounder, and the fast bowlers, especially Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach seem to be ready for the challenge of test cricket. The result of the series, however, has to be viewed in the context that the Bangladesh team is not the strongest test playing team and therefore winning against them does not suggest that the West Indies team has turned the proverbial “corner.”
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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