Ahead of an ODI series against Bangladesh, West Indies were served up as flat a track as can be in the warm-up match against BCB XI at the BKSP in Savar yesterday. West Indies skipper Rovman Powell was not buying a bit of it.
It is no secret that West Indies' strength is their big-hitting prowess. It is even less of a secret that Bangladesh like to hound visitors with spin, and West Indies know that better than most after losing all of their 40 wickets to spin while being thrashed in the recently concluded two-Test series.
"I am wondering if Bangladesh are trying to trick us and put us on pretty good wickets just before the first game," said Powell after they lost the practice game by 51 runs in the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. "That is something to think about."
West Indies have good reason to see conspiracy in a docile wicket. That is exactly what was given to the tourists in a two-day practice match at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chattogram before a raging turner at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium saw the lose the first Test by 64 runs.
"Definitely not," he responded when asked whether he was expecting a similar pitch in Mirpur for Sunday's first ODI. "Just like the Test games, we believe that the pitches will spin here."
It is also something to think about that they were handily beaten on the type of wicket they would presumably prefer over a turner. Having scored 331 for eight, they allowed BCB XI to score 314 for six in just 41 overs before bad light stopped play. That may have displeased Powell more than the loss because after the spin domination in the Tests, they would have expected to be at least on level terms on a flat wicket.
While results in practice games do not count for much, the home side will be happy that they have already started winning a few mind games.