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The Mehidy threat facing West Indies

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Tamim Iqbal recalls his famous knock against India (1:09)

Playing only in his fifth ODI, the Bangladesh opener stepped up on the big occasion (1:09)

A twirl of Mehidy Hasan's fingers has put Shimron Hetmyer in a pickle, roughly once every 20 balls. Mehidy has had the better of his buddy from the Under-19 days seven times in the last 12 months. He has troubled Hetmyer when he has stayed in the crease with full deliveries, and even when the batsman has tried charging, he's been dismissed four times.

Mehidy has a decent record against Shai Hope too. So does Mashrafe Mortaza. In fact, the Bangladesh boys know their West Indies batsmen by heart, and apart from being 7-2 ahead in the last 12 months, they have also dominated some of the individual match-ups. So as much as the battle between the short ball and the Bangladesh batsmen is crucial, so too is the one between West Indies' batsmen and Bangladesh's offspinners.

West Indies had four left-hand batsmen in their last game, and judging by how much Darren Bravo batted in the nets ahead of this one, Mehidy and Mosaddek Hossain would be licking their lips. Even Mahmudullah, struggling with a shoulder injury for months, practiced his bowling, with a more round-arm action, on Saturday.

Bangladesh's captains have generally liked spinners who turn the ball away from opposition batsmen. Mehidy fits right into that plan against West Indies, and even otherwise, he has been in good form over the last six weeks, including against West Indies in a tri-series final in Dublin.

All those performances had one thing in common. An incredible amount of control. Mehidy has kept the run rate down to 4.79, and even when he has gone for more than six an over, as he did against England in Cardiff, he ends up making breakthroughs. How he stood up to Jason Roy after he had been hit for three sixes in a row was also encouraging to see. The offspinner cannily bowled one slightly wider and got Roy out off the fourth ball of the over.

It has taken a while for Mehidy to replicate his success in Test cricket on the limited-overs stage. He bowls a similar pace in all formats, although like most spinners these days, he doesn't flight it as much. Mashrafe said that offspin, and particularly the kind bowled by Mehidy, will be an important weapon against West Indies.

"I think bowling offspin is very important when we think of attacking them," Mashrafe said. "We obviously have been quite successful against them with offspin, particularly their left-handers. So we have to think about it as well. And if you look at recently, I think, Mehidy has bowled really well against them. He has also bowled so well in this World Cup as well, against even the right-handers.

"It [Taunton] is a small ground, too, so we have to think about it as well. So on one side, the wind will be very strong, and West Indies have so much power to do it [hit out]. But again, a small ground is also good for us. So I think it will go equally."

Mashrafe also warned against being complacent against a batting line-up that they have got the better of in the last one year.

"Most opponents plan about West Indies' batting because of how they mostly transfer the T20 style of play in ODIs. Bowlers will have a hard time if they get going, so we have be strict in our planning. We have to calm our nerves in difficult situations.

"The positive part is that playing lots of shots gives us chances. There's no alternative to taking wickets against West Indies because they can cause serious damage."

Mashrafe expects Mehidy, and to a lesser extent Mosaddek, to have a major say with the new ball, as well as in the middle of the innings.