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Cricket | International

Bangladesh missing Shakib for Windies



Bangladesh are out to salvage pride against the West Indies in a five-match one-day series starting on Friday but will be missing star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan for the first two games.

The West Indies cantered to a 2-0 win in this month's test series and the loss of 25-year-old Shakib, who suffered a shin injury during the second test, will be a major blow to the struggling home side.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim put on a brave face over the loss of Shakib, who will be absent from a Bangladesh ODI line-up for the first time since the 2008 Asia Cup in Pakistan.

"It (playing without Shakib) will be a big challenge," the skipper said.

"But we always plan to play consistent cricket. We are playing ODI cricket after a long time. They have a strong one-day side but we will use the Asia Cup memories to inspire us," said Rahim.

Bangladesh beat one-day heavyweights India and Sri Lanka on their way to the final of the Asia Cup on home soil in March this year before narrowly losing in the final to Pakistan. It was their most recent one-day match.

West Indies, buoyant after winning the test series, have injury problems of their own as they prepare for the first match in Khulna, with spearhead Tino Best ruled out of the series with a hamstring injury.

Best, who took a maiden five-wicket haul in the first test in Dhaka and six wickets in Bangladesh's second innings of the second test, has been replaced by uncapped fast bowler Jason Holder in the ODI squad.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was happy with the balance of his squad.

"The nucleus of the team is quite settled. The guys have been performing consistently in the past six to 12 months, which is a good sign," said Sammy, whose side won the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last month.

West Indies will be boosted by the return of fast bowler Kemar Roach, who missed the tests due to a knee injury.

They also boast a star-studded batting line-up led by the powerful Chris Gayle, who is backed up by Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith.

Despite his team's strengths, Sammy said Bangladesh were tough opponents.

"The Bangladesh team is an exciting one-day team, so is the West Indies," he said. "And the fans are passionate about cricket. I am looking forward to the series."

Bangladesh have included uncapped Mominul Hoque as a replacement for the injured Shakib in the first two matches after the 21-year-old left-hander impressed in trial matches this week.

The second ODI, on December 2, is also in Khulna, with the remaining three matches in Dhaka on December 5, 7 and 8. The two sides are also playing a single Twenty20 international in Dhaka on December 10.

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