Onus on Bangladesh to take the fight to West Indies

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A Test series between the seventh and ninth-ranked teams shouldn’t attract much attention when four of the top sides are locking horns at almost the same time. But when the higher-ranked team among the two commands a new-found respect for winning a world title with its rising stars and its opposition is an erratic but talented bunch playing in front of excitable home crowds, attention towards Mirpur is expected. Contests such as these come without any guarantees but for those who enjoy a bottom-of-the-table scrap, this is it. To keep it a contest, though, Bangladesh will have to up their game and have the will to fight. West Indies are looking up and have been moving towards a goal – a rise up the Test rankings, though this series will not take them past Sri Lanka, even if the latter concede their series to New Zealand. What West Indies can do is move further ahead of New Zealand and Bangladesh and, more importantly, take their cricket to a higher plane, a level they have been seeking for the past 15 years. Captain Darren Sammy wouldn’t want a slip-up against a team they have beaten in all but one series, the one where none of their top players turned up. As ammunition he has Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine and Fidel Edwards, while for the likes of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Darren Bravo and newcomer Veerasammy Permaul there is much to play for. It is now a team that has more and more places that are being contested, a phenomenon which is an important aspect of an improving cricket team, coupled with the stability which West Indies have began to develop in some areas of their Test team.