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The Preview by Mohammad Isam
December 6, 2012
Having got one must-win game out of the way, West Indies are facing another in order to draw level with Bangladesh in the five-ODI series. One wrong step in Mirpur on Friday could make the final match on Saturday a dead rubber and consign West Indies to a series defeat, a backward step after their recent success in international cricket.
West Indies made amends for their poor showing in the first two matches in Khulna by changing their approach to batting. In Khulna, the batsmen were guilty of trying to hit out every time they were bogged down. In Mirpur, however, Samuels led the change, by battling more than batting on a pitch that had irregular bounce and lots of turn. West Indies now need their other batsmen - Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy - to follow the Samuels way. The visitors also had another positive in the third match - Sunil Narine finally found form on this tour with a four-wicket haul.
Bangladesh are leading the series 2-1, and despite their struggle in the previous game, they scored 227, an indication of their increasing comfort levels in ODIs. They will be heartened to see the bowling unit put up a fight. A worry, though, is the form of Rubel Hossain, who looked rusty during a five-over spell that cost 42.
Form guide(Most recent first)
In the spotlight
Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi was wicketless for the first time in an international match, in the third ODI in Mirpur, where he had figures of 9-1-36-0. He has been a revelation for Bangladesh this winter, and will hope that the previous match was a blip in an otherwise encouraging start to his career.
Kieron Pollard has become a figure of ridicule in Bangladesh for his comments after the first ODI in Khulna. He hasn't been in form either and has thrown away his wicket at crucial times. He will be expected to hit a few into the stands at least, if not out of the city, like he threatened to.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Bangladesh's interim coach Shane Jurgensen will not tinker too much with the team combination as it offered balance to the attack. Bangladesh however have the option of playing left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, who was added to the squad for the final two ODIs.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Naeem Islam, 4 Nasir Hossain, 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Mominul Haque, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Rubel Hossain.
West Indies possibly got it right by picking both spinners in their line-up and are likely to continue with the winning combination.
West Indies (possible): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Dwayne Smith, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Devon Thomas, 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Veersasammy Permaul
Pitch and conditions
The pitch for the third ODI was a challenge for the batsmen, but the one for the fourth game could be a batting paradise. In that case, batting second will be much easier under lights.
Stats and trivia
"We can't focus on two games so we will take it step by step. We can't afford to pressure ourselves when we are coming from the back."
Marlon Samuels, the West Indies batsman, says that plan is to just focus on the next game
"We will go hard and aggressive to win the last two matches, we are not feeling too much pressure."
Bangladesh bowler Mahmudullah
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondentFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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