Bangladesh v India, 3rd ODI, Mirpur June 18, 2014

Bangladesh in dire need of spirit-lifting win


Match facts

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Start time 1300 local (0700 GMT)

Big Picture

"I think if this were our second team, they would have played better cricket." This morose statement from the Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was echoed on the streets of Dhaka, with considerably more colour. The hosts might well deserve their fans' admonishment, after wilting in the face of a target of 106. A series that had looked set to come alive was gift-wrapped to India in a matter of an hour or so.

The Mirpur pitch had sided itself with the bowlers and accuracy proved the most vital discipline as Suresh Raina's India defended one of the lowest totals ever. Mohit Sharma and Stuart Binny are practiced in finding a good length and sitting on it. A little nip away, a sharp jag in and some lazy shot-selection led to the hosts' undoing. If the conditions on the eve of the third ODI remain - decidedly grey clouds and sprinkles of rain in the afternoon - both teams' batsmen better prepare themselves for another stern examination.

India's middle order does not portray the kind of solidity it normally does. The lack of a specialist finisher also poses greater responsibility on the top order. Suresh Raina, perhaps wary of this, has assumed the mantle of the No. 5 batsman. But that has also led to his time at the crease being limited. The openers had one good game and one bad one, and Cheteshwar Pujara is yet to sink his teeth into limited-overs cricket. All is not rosy, but India have one more chance to emphasise their batting might.

Sunday was scorching, yet people stood behind the lower-tier stands to catch a glimpse of the cricket - they literally stood through their team's eighth defeat in a row. Rain spattered across the ground on Tuesday, but they would not budge and witnessed an abject surrender. It is to these people Mushfiqur apologised, but they would prefer he deliver it with a consolation win on Thursday.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LLLLL (most recent first)
India: WWWLL

In the spotlight

When you repeat your lowest score in history, the top order would have to take a healthy portion of the blame. Bangladesh had replaced Mominul Haque, one of the few Bangladesh batsmen with a disposition to bat long, in favour of a debutant. Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque contributed to their downfall more than the bowler who took their wickets. Flash has always been a trait of the hosts' batsmen, but the time has come to display substance.

On an inviting pitch, India's quicks rallied intelligently. Outright pace is an element that eludes the team, but they made up for it with their ability to move the ball. Stuart Binny's outrageous success would encourage both him and the management. They'll want to keep up the pack mentality they showed on Tuesday, especially if there is not as much help on offer.

Team news

An optional training session for Bangladesh on Wednesday afternoon drew an audience. Akram Khan, the chief of the cricket operations committee, exchanged pleasantries with the coaching staff. Habibul Bashar, former captain and current selector, followed the training session and accompanied the team to the dressing room. All signs pointed to change on the horizon, both in personnel and strategy. Shamsur Rahman and Mominul had long sessions in the nets.

Bangladesh (possible) 1 Shamsur Rahman/Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

Kedar Jadhav, Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa and Parvez Rasool hit the nets for India, under the watch of coach Duncan Fletcher. Considering they have the series is in the bag, India might hand out some exercise to the players who have been on the bench so far.

India (possible) 1 Robin Uthappa, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Ambati Rayudu/Kedar Jadhav, 5 Suresh Raina (capt), 6 Stuart Binny 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Akshar Patel, 10 Mohit Sharma/Vinay Kumar, 11 Umesh Yadav

Pitch and conditions

On the eve of the match, a brief drizzle forced the groundsmen to protect the square in the afternoon. The sky had competed with the dull grey of the covers, but as the evening wore on things got a tough brighter. The prospect of a full game, though, remains doubtful once again.

Stats and trivia

  • The only previous three-match ODI series between these teams (in 2004) finished 2-1 in favour of India. In that instance, Bangladesh had squared the series before going on to lose the decider
  • Suresh Raina's ODI average of 139.50 against Bangladesh is the highest for any batsman in India-Bangladesh encounters. In eight innings, he has scored 279 runs and has been dismissed only twice
  • Taskin Ahmed was the tenth Bangladesh bowler to make his debut against India. None of the previous bowlers had taken more than one wicket in their debut game

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    "Things can only go up for their batsmen now, Bangladesh will be hoping © AFP" - Yeh they hit the bottom (58 their lowest - twice) already, so they may not be desperate to dig more. @Praveen Holesh Bankad - May be this is too early to win matches against other teams, let them complete 30 years playing ODI by 31 March 2016. Then they may hope to win some matches!?! Wake-up brother. They are International Players capable enough to play against any team, just need some positive attitude with consistency. Best of Luck BD!

  • ESPN on June 19, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    It's time for Bangladesh to prove themselves as a real test playing country by wining this match # All The Best For Bangladesh #

  • love on June 19, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    @ Himanshu -> Not only Bangladesh,all the countries have lost to lower ranked teams.Bangla have won 3 matches too against India,2 of them being main reason behind India getting eliminated from the tournament.India bowled them out cheaply in last match but don't forget India merely scored 100 runs with the help pf Umesh Yadav.In first match,they scored 270 odd.Only thing lacking from Bangladesh's point of view is collective performance by bowler and batsman,not separately.If they win today,all the mouths of critics will be shut.All the best from India to Bangladesh brothers but I hope We see a good match with India win.

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    i think too many changes done by bangaladesh in the past. too many debutants for each series.

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    yeah good day for INDIA

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    ind will win this series 3-0

  • Nirmal on June 19, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in Pujara dreaming about his chance in world cup. He certainly can but only in 2019 world cup. He will good get five years to prapre for it. In todays match we must give chance to every one who is yet to get a chance in this series.My eleven is Uthappa, Rahane, Saha, Tiwary, Raina, Jadhav, Binny, Rasool, Akshar / Mishra, Vinay, Sharma.

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    I wonder if BD can win a match against Ireland. They already lost to associates it was good of ICC to make them play qualifiers. Nepal got equal points I am sure next time it will get more points.

  • Android on June 19, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    I wonder if BD can win a match against Ireland. They already lost to associates it was good of ICC to make them play qualifiers. Nepal got equal points I am sure next time it will get more points.

  • Dummy4 on June 19, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    I'm an indian and i feel for bangladesh fans. But fans should support their team no matter they win or loss. Even india use to loss matches to mighty teams in their early days. BD have really good players and playing against the big team will make them quality players. I hope BD fans support their team and bangladesh come up with good performance in near future. Best of luck BD. Hope for a exciting cricket all over the world

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