Windies banking on pace
Despite being convincingly beaten by Bangladesh in a three-match series prior to the World Cup, the West Indian contingent believe that they have the ability to defeat Bangladesh in the second semifinal of the Under-19 World Cup today.
"We have got more familiar with the conditions and we have been together as a group for a good period now. We feel more comfortable with our combinations. The players also understand the conditions better, which are clearly different to those in the Caribbean," said coach Graeme West.
"The players have taken time to adapt, to adjust and also to learn. The Pakistan game really showed signs that the players now recognise what is required to be effective and successful here in Bangladesh," he continued.
Their skipper Shimron Hetmyer echoed a similar sentiment. This West Indian line-up has been brimming with confidence ever since they managed to beat a spin-heavy Pakistan and they reckon they can do the same today.
During the first semifinal between India and Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, the wicket seemed to have some assistance for the pace bowlers. The Indian bowlers were able to extract plenty of bounce from the pitch. It was something that pleased the West Indians.
"We watched the game yesterday and we're encouraged to see the ball get through. The seamers from both sides were effective in the first 10 overs. Anyone that would've watched the Pakistan game will know where one of our strengths lies and that is with the new ball attack. And we have got to look to that to really make early inroads into the Bangladesh team," concluded West.
In Alzarri Joseph, West Indies have arguably the fastest bowler of the tournament. His teammates have always backed his pace and believe that a lot in the match will depend on the way Bangladesh's batsmen handle the pacer.
"It's a good feeling to be in a team with express pacers. I think we had one pacer in the last World Cup who really went all the way through the tournament and there was [Kagiso] Rabada from South Africa who was the fastest bowler in the tournament," said Hetmyer.
Ahead of the crucial game, all Hetmyer wants is his boys to do is stick to the basics, an approach he believes can get them through to the final.