DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul could be in line for his international debut as West Indies face Bangladesh in the opening Test of the two-match series starting in Mirpur here Tuesday (Monday, 11:30 pm Eastern Caribbean time).
The 23-year-old was a surprise choice for the series after being picked ahead of several other proven candidates but with the Windies seriously weighing the option of playing two spinners, he is being considered for the final XI.
He would join wily off-spinner Sunil Narine in an attack that would be looking to exploit what are expected to be conditions friendly to slower bowlers at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
“We have a selector (Robert Haynes) on tour and we will meet later to discuss things further [on the final XI],” Sammy said here Sunday.
“We are tempted to play two spinners, particularly Veerasammy Permaul, since he was part of the HPC team that last month played here. He has done really well here, so he makes a strong case for a place in the side, but the selectors will have to decide what they feel is the best combination for us to win the Test.”
Permaul, the West Indies A skipper, excelled on the recent tour here, taking 21 wickets in all formats. Though without international experience, he is a seasoned campaigner in first class cricket, having taken 152 wickets at 24.59 apiece from 45 matches since his debut five years ago.
His inclusion would make for a novice spin attack as for all his promise, Narine has never played in Bangladesh before and only has three Tests under his belt after making his debut last June against England.
If the Windies opt for two spinners, it means Sammy will share the new ball with perhaps Ravi Rampaul.
“It looks like a typical Bangladesh pitch. It looks like it will be slow and low, and offering much more to the spinners,” Sammy pointed out.
“Last year, we had our fast bowlers do very well at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium however. It looks like a pitch on which you will have to be patient in the batting and the bowling, so it will be about consistency in the execution of the plans you put in place.”
West Indies will enter the Test without any match practice after heavy rains left the BKSP ground in Savar unfit for play, forcing officials to scrap the three-day warm-up game, the only one scheduled before the Test series.
Sammy admitted this was a blow for the Windies but said the players had utilised the time in the nets to compensate for the lack of a match scenario.
“It is disappointing, but the same thing happened to us a few years ago in Sri Lanka. We still had some specific work which we were doing and this time it is no different,” he explained.
“The batsmen look in good form and the bowlers look ready to go, so yes, we are disappointed we did not get into the middle and play, but we are still confident that we can get the ball rolling in this series.”
He continued: “It gives us an opportunity to do more specific work. It means some of our batsmen have got a chance to hit a few more balls, where probably in the practice match, they may have gotten a good ball and dismissed early.
“Our bowlers also got a few more deliveries in their feet and got a chance to execute their skill properly. We are disappointed we didn’t play that tour match, but I do not think it will be a factor in our preparation for the Test.”
West Indies, boasting the likes of prolific opener Chris Gayle, veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul and the in-form Marlon Samuels, are tipped to easily win the series against a Bangladesh side that have not played a Test in nearly a year.
Last year when the Caribbean side toured here, they won both the Test and one-day series by narrow margins but Sammy stressed while they would not take the Tigers for granted, they would be looking for emphatic results.
“People will expect us to beat them but Bangladesh is always a difficult side to play when they are on home soil,” Sammy cautioned.
“We are not going to take them lightly. We will give them the respect they are due like we do with any other opponent. But we are confident that we can go out there and play a brand of cricket that will give us a series victory.”
He continued: “[Complacency] is something about which we have spoken. We left the Caribbean as World Twenty20 champions, but this is a different format. Winning the WT20 gave the players a lot more confidence, but we are quite aware that we have to guard against complacency, and remember that cricket is play in the middle.
“Once we can execute our team plans and we get the performances from different players, we are confident we can win the series here.”
BANGLADESH – Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mahmudullah (vice captain), Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Naeem Islam, Nazim Uddin, Nasir Hossain, Mohammed Elias, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Abul Hasan, Shohag Gazi.
WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (captain), Denesh Ramdin (vice captain), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels.