2018 has not been a good year for the West Indies even in their favoured T20 format, in which the world champions have banked on their muscle to great effect, as they have won just two matches of 12.One of those matches ended without a result, while one of their wins came in a three-match series against Bangladesh which they lost 2-1 earlier this year in Florida.
However, with the inclusion of Evin Lewis alongside pacers such as Kesrick Williams and Sheldon Cottrell in the squad, the West Indies will be gearing up for a good showing in the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh, starting tomorrow in Sylhet.
However the visitors will surely miss two explosive all-rounders in the form of Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell due to injury.
Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes is well aware of the threat that the world champions pose, emphasising that they would come at the Tigers even harder after being defeated in the T20Is at home earlier this year.
"As Mash [Mashrafe Bin Mortaza] said in his interview, it is the best format for the West Indies. They are world champions and they will be very difficult to beat. Having said that, the way we beat them in the West Indies was a very special victory for us. It was a little unexpected but the boys did extremely well to win that last game in Florida," Rhodes told reporters in Sylhet yesterday.
"They are hurting. Like all teams that you play against and if you win, then you can expect some sort of backlash. I think the West Indies, with some new players who have arrived here, will be a tough opposition. It s a format they know very well. We will give it our best shot; they always do, the boys. They keep surprising me because they come up with some great performances. Now we have got some continuity with regards to winning series," he added.
Former Pakistani leg-spinner and the spin coach of the West Indies, Mushtaq Ahmed, also said that they would be banking on their explosive brand of cricket, but he opined that the side were also developing as a Test and ODI unit.
"Sure, this is a good headline. Because this is the brand of cricket West Indies play. They are a good T20 team, but they are developing in 50 overs also. They re developing in Test cricket. So they are bringing lots of focus into 50-over and Test cricket also. But it s a new team, lots of young people; they are learning the brand of international cricket and hopefully sooner or later they can deliver the skill for their nation," Mushtaq said.