Following his cross-continental emigration to Cape Town, Dan Burt seems to think that we should all take a moment to savour the titanic clash between the 9th and 7th ranked sides in Test Cricket. Here’s why…
The West Indies are Bangladesh’s whipping boys in Test cricket
Bangladesh have more wins against the West Indies than any other side in Test cricket (including, remarkably, Zimbabwe against whom they have a solitary strike). If we ignore for a moment, that those wins came against a West Indies side comprised of butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers, it still represents Bangladesh’s finest cricketing hour.
They will be looking to repeat the feat, this time at home. They’ll be supported by a crowd who’ll be as excitable as Richard Levi’s family during the last IPL auction.
The West Indies need to annihilate Bangladesh
News emanating from the West Indies (or, more accurately the mouth of Ottis Gibson) suggests that the board are targeting a genuine push up the ICC Test rankings, starting with this mini duel versus Bangladesh:
“We go to Bangladesh looking to win. We’ve had a pretty solid 2012 so far and we just want to finish 2012 on a winning note. The aim is to keep trying to find ways to move up the table,” said Gibson.
This being the case, a simple series win will not suffice. The West Indies must come away with two sizable victories, if outside observers are going to treat their claims with any gravity.
Bangladesh must justify their place in Test cricket
If Bangladesh were an IPL side, they’d be the Kochi Tuskers 2nd XI with Ravi Jadeja as captain. 3 wins, 7 draws and 63 defeats is a record not even Shashi Tharoor could spin into anything remotely respectable. Surely such abandon in performance cannot be allowed to carry on much longer, unless real signs of improvement are shown.
We wait with baited breath.
Khulna, the newest place to be seen
If you like cricket, you probably like stats. Khulna – which will play host to the second and final Test of the series – will become the 107th Test match venue. The last Test debutant was Roseau, Dominica in 2011.
Interestingly, the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur where the first Test will take place (13th – 17th November) is one of the fastest scoring grounds in Test history (3.31 runs per over). Only 3 venues (3000+ runs scored) offer a higher runs-per-over tally.
ADDENDUM: Chris Gayle welcomes debutant Sohab Gazi with a six off the first ball of the Test – the first time in history this has been achieved!
Some of the best players in the world will be on display
Despite the remarkable feats of batting, bowling and fielding that Jacques Kallis and Shane Watson have displayed over the years, they still cannot do enough to dislodge Shakib-al-Hasan from his lofty perch as the best all-rounder in Test cricket. That’s also better than Stuart Broad, Vernon Philander, Darren Sammy or R Ashwin.
He’ll come face-to-face with Shivnarine Chanderpaul who sits at 3 in the list of best Test batsmen, again above the luckless Kallis. Kemar Roach is nestled with the big boys in the top 10 bowlers.
Whilst it’s easy to be whimsical about series such as this, which are dictated by the unfathomable ICC calendar, there should be plenty for the casual observer to enjoy in the short breaks between Australia v South Africa and India v England.
Some of you will be watching, surely?