West Indies captain Jason Holder admits his spluttering side will be underdogs when they face Bangladesh in a crucial World Cup clash on Monday. Beaten in two of their four group matches, Holder’s team desperately need to secure their second win of the tournament as they chase a semi-final berth. Level on three points after four games apiece, the West Indies and Bangladesh meet at Taunton hoping to deliver a potentially fatal blow to their rivals’ chances of progression. Recent history books makes for grim reading for the West Indies, with Bangladesh winning seven of their last nine meetings, including last month’s Tri-Nation Series in Ireland.
Holder concedes the West Indies don’t go into the match as favourites, but he is confident that will spur his players to upset the odds. “If you want to put us in the underdog category, fair enough,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“We’ve played them quite a bit in the past and they’ve got the better of us, but it’s a different occasion and there’s lots at stake, so we’re all up for it.
“I don’t think there are any easy teams in this World Cup. We’re mid-table with five games left and the ball is in our court.
“We’ve got to play some consistent cricket going into the back half of the tournament.
“It’s quite a good stage to pick up some momentum. It’s a challenge against Bangladesh, so we just want to get over them and move forward.”
The West Indies’ potentially explosive batting line-up has yet to properly fire in this year’s World Cup and Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza expects the Tigers to tame them in the west country.
The use of spinners Mehedy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan, both in wicket-taking form so far this World Cup, will be crucial to Bangladesh’s game-plan at a ground with short boundaries. “It’s a very important match for us, especially losing a few points in the last three matches,” Mashrafe said.
“We’ve been quite successful against them with some off-spinners. And if you look at recently, Mehedy bowled really well against them. Also he’s bowling so well in this World Cup as well.
“Obviously the top five West Indies batsmen are left handers, and Mehedy bowled against them really well too.
“So it’s a positive sign. It’s a small ground, too, so we have to think about it as well. West Indies have so much power to do it.”