McCullum ruled out as NZ aim to prevent whitewash
November 3, 2013
Start time 0915 local (0315 GMT)
Bangladesh don't often go into the final match of a series with victory already secured. They are usually on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline, or as it has happened in six contests against higher-ranked sides, it is 1-1. This scoreline, however, is just one of several things that's different about this series against New Zealand.
After drawing the Tests 0-0, Bangladesh have dominated New Zealand completely in the limited-overs games. They have played with an inner strength drawn from becoming a team of performers, rather than depending on one or two to do the job.
Naeem Islam, a last-minute replacement for Shakib Al Hasan in the first ODI, struck 84 and had an important partnership with his captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 90, his first half-century in nine ODI innings. During the defence, Rubel Hossain stunned New Zealand by taking a hat-trick and a six-wicket haul.
In the second ODI, Tamim Iqbal scored a fifty but when Bangladesh were beginning to slip, Sohag Gazi and Mahmudullah took them to 247, giving the bowlers a fighting chance. This time Mashrafe Mortaza stepped up. Playing an international series after nearly a year on the sidelines because of a heel injury, Mortaza moved the ball significantly and ensured New Zealand had a poor start. Gazi and Abdur Razzak maintained pressure and Bangladesh took the series with a game in hand.
Apart from an in-form Bangladesh unit and the absence of Brendon McCullum, out due to a sore back, New Zealand will have to contend with a questionable playing surface as well in the final ODI. The Fatullah Cricket Stadium has been renovated, and the pitches have been relaid. Several batsmen have complained of very low bounce during the Dhaka Premier League. The average first-innings score in the domestic one-day tournament is 195; in the second innings it is 157.
Public interest in this game is so high that when hundreds of fans were denied tickets at a local ticketing booth in Narayanganj near Fatullah, they fought with police and 30 people were injured.
Bangladesh WWLLW (last five matches, most recent first)
New Zealand LLLWL
Watch out for
Tamim Iqbal has shown he can bat aggressively as well as carefully. His 58 off 86 balls in the second ODI, however, ended poorly as he was lost for shots. He began slogging and eventually missed one that hit his stumps. A natural stroke-maker, Tamim can go all out in the last game because the series has already been won.
Ross Taylor scored two fifties in the Test series but still hasn't crossed that mark in the two ODIs. He has been one of the side's best batsmen on this tour, however, playing spin well and stitching partnerships at times. With McCullum out, he will have to step up and do it all alone.
New Zealand will be without Brendon McCullum, who has a sore back. Luke Ronchi is likely to replace him in the XI, with Kyle Mills leading the side. The team management will be tempted to give fast bowler Adam Milne a game, but it is unclear at this stage who they would drop considering the better bowling performance in the second game.
New Zealand (likely): 1 Anton Devcich, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Grant Elliott, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Luke Ronchi, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Jimmy Neesham, 8 Tom Latham (wk), 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Kyle Mills (capt)
Tamim complained of abdominal pain, and is a doubtful starter. Bangladesh coach Shane Jurgensen spoke of the heavy workload of some of his players so there may be a case for resting Rubel Hossain or one of the spinners. Mortaza may be rested for the dead rubber too. Al-Amin Hossain could make an ODI debut.
Bangladesh (likely): 1 Tamim Iqbal/Anamul Haque, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Naeem Islam, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza/Al-Amin Hossain, 11 Rubel Hossain/Ziaur Rahman.
Stats and trivia
- The last international match in Fatullah was an ODI between Bangladesh and Australia in 2006.
- Tamim is now Bangladesh's highest run-scorer in ODIs with 3702. He went past Shakib's tally of 3688 in the second ODI.
- Bangladesh have beaten New Zealand and West Indies seven times, their most wins against higher-ranked teams in ODIs.
Pitch and conditions
The Fatullah Cricket Stadium's international status had to be reinstated by the ICC because it had not staged a match in five years. The pitch and outfield have been relaid after several years of wear and tear and complaints of poor drainage. After two years of work, the venue began to be used for the Dhaka Premier League this season, but it had low bounce and has only improved a little since early September.
"We want to end ODI series on a high. Everyone will be up no doubt."
New Zealand pace bowler Kyle Mills
"We will play the same way we did during the first two matches. We will not take things casually just because the series has been won."
Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here