West Indies look to climb ODI rankings
Bangladesh v West Indies, October 18, Chittagong
Start time 1330 (0730 GMT)
There is no doubt that the expectations of the Bangladesh cricket fan have grown disproportionately to the achievements of their team. Some of the cricket Bangladesh have played in this series has been deserving of the fans' wrath; it has not been a case of a still-developing team doing their best but coming up short against a much better side, but rather of a team playing well below their potential and not even challenging the opposition.
In the first ODI, Bangladesh appeared to give up the ghost before the second innings even began. Tamim Iqbal, a man who scored two run-a-ball centuries in Tests in England last year, could only strike at 55.26 in a home ODI, and even though Bangladesh got to 122 for 1 in their chase of West Indies' 298 they were never in the game.
The second game in Mirpur included a batting performance that even captain Mushfiqur Rahim could not explain. If you looked at the scorecard, you'd think Bangladesh's top order had been bullied by tall, quick West Indies fast bowlers. In truth, out of the four wickets that fell for 18 runs at the top, three were to slashes at wide deliveries and one was so perfectly guided to second slip by Mohammad Ashraful it appeared he was giving the fielder catching practice.
In these performances, the Bangladesh fans can hardly find the valour in defeat that is often the saving grace of those who support underdogs. As the action shifts to Chittagong, where Bangladesh have lost only one of their last six completed games, nothing less than a win will appease the home fans. Unfortunately the home team may not have a shot at redemption with thunderstorms forecast for Tuesday.
West Indies, meanwhile, are enjoying the luxury of having won a series before it has finished for the first time since March 2010, and can now eye a move up the rankings. The difference between a win and loss for them tomorrow is four rating-points on the ICC's one-day rankings, something Darren Sammy is aware of. Sammy has had a chance to study his team during the series without the pressure of defeats, and is looking for improvement in the fielding department and continued successes from the top-order batsmen.
West Indies: WWWWL
In the spotlight
With scores of 122 and 80 in the first two games, this is easily the best series of Lendl Simmons' career. He will want to keep the momentum going into the Test series, a format in which he has struggled.
Just how long can Bangladesh wait for Mohammad Ashraful to develop into the player he was supposed to be. They drop him, bring him back, drop him again ... the net result is a shockingly poor record in recent times: his last ODI half-century was in January 2010, since then he has averaged 10.11 in 18 one-day innings with a highest score of 31. Surely, he has to run out of second-chances at some stage.
Pitch and conditions
Nasir Hossain said at the pre-match press conference that the Bangladesh players were expecting the pitch in Chittagong to turn much more than the one in Mirpur did. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for Chittagong tomorrow is not good, and there is a high chance of rain. The ground is infamous for having very poor drainage and even a single shower could wash out the whole game.
With rating points to play for, West Indies may not make too many changes to their side. With Adrian Barath struggling with a hamstring injury, the experiment to open with Danza Hyatt was moderately successful in the last match, but Kieran Powell is also around as a specialist opener. The track in Chittagong is expected to turn, but West Indies have been averse to going in with two spinners, and their quicks have been successful enough so far.
West Indies (probable) 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Danza Hyatt/Kieran Powell, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Kemar Roach.
Shuvagata Hom and Shahriar Nafees are the options available for Bangladesh to strengthen their misfiring batting. Nafees got two half-centuries during the home series against Australia in April and has been dropped after just two failures in Zimbabwe. Hom has only played one ODI since his impressive 35 not out that helped Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Abdur Razzak has been expensive in the first two games and may make way for Suhrawadi Shuvo.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mohammad Ashraful/Shahriar Nafees, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Alok Kapali, 7 Naeem Islam, 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Suhrawadi Shuvo, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain.
Stats & Trivia
- If West Indies win this match, it will be the first time they have won five consecutive ODIs against Test playing nations since 1998.
- Out of the 11 completed ODIs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, only four have been won by the team that won the toss.
"Everyone enjoys playing in Chittagong, so everyone is confident. The ball didn't turn in Dhaka like we had expected but since I've played here, I know it will turn here."
Bangladesh's young allrounder Nasir Hossain hopes a change of venue will bring a change in fortunes
"We've still got a job to do. We win the series 3-0 and we get four ranking points so it's a very important match."
Darren Sammy is not treating the game as a dead rubber
Dustin Silgardo is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo