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'Series win is a necessity' - Mashrafe

Performance psychologist Dr Phil Jauncey talks to the Bangladesh team BCB

Ahead of their training session on Tuesday, the Bangladesh team had a pep-talk from performance psychologist Dr Phil Jauncey. It lasted about 10 minutes, after which the players began their warm-up with football.

The appointment of Dr Jauncey for the last three ODIs and the exclusion of Al-Amin Hossain from the third ODI's squad are the only changes in the home camp. They look to be no different than how they prepared for the first or second ODIs in Chittagong.

Captain Mashrafe Mortaza too is saying similar things as he did ahead of the first two matches. He thinks dew will be the spinners' main challenge and that there is no room to be complacent. He however insisted that the batting line-up may keep changing if the opening batsmen can provide another good start. If they don't, Mominul Haque will keep batting at No. 3 and Shakib Al Hasan will revert to his old No. 5 position.

"We want to give Shakib and Mushfiqur the most overs to bat," Mashrafe said. "They are our form players. If our opening pair goes long, we will keep that plan in hand. It will be beneficial for the team if Shakib gets to bat more overs. The same goes for Mushfiqur. It all depends on what the openers do. The batting order will remain the same. We just wanted him to get the maximum number of overs in the second game because the openers had played out 33 overs.

"Mominul remains our No. 3, and Shakib will bat at No. 5. If we don't give our top batsmen the most overs to bat, the team misses out on runs. This is a worry. We obviously discuss it much ahead before we change the batting order and tell the batsman in question that his position will change."

Mashrafe was quite clear that he wants to wrap up the five-match series in the third ODI itself. He called the series win a "necessity" for Bangladesh who have had a poor year so far, particularly in ODIs. He has called for more consistency after the middle-order collapsed, with the home side losing six wickets for 46 runs in 10.2 overs after the openers gave them 158 runs to start with.

"We really need to win this series, keeping the context of this year in mind," Mashrafe said. "We can take confidence to the World Cup. If we can win the series tomorrow, I wouldn't just be happy because the series was won under my captaincy. It is a necessity.

"There has to be improvement every day, we cannot be satisfied. Top order didn't do well in the first game, middle-order didn't do well in the second game. We can bowl and field better, we have done that before. If we don't improve, the World Cup will be quite difficult. We have to raise our consistency. It is important to be consistent against a team that is under pressure."

He will look for dew in the Shere Bangla National Stadium outfield quite early in the evening during training on Tuesday, just like there was dew in Chittagong from 4:00pm in the afternoon. He expects the spinners to be key, though the pitch here provided bounce and some pace for the faster men in the Dhaka Test in late October.

"The spinners will have a big role here, as it did in Chittagong. But the pace bowlers will have a part to play because there is expected to be some bounce. That would obviously help the spinners but still, spin will be vital. We thought that if there is more dew and the spinners have trouble bowling, we can use the pace bowlers. Riyad and Sabbir did struggle to grip the ball, so we had to use Rubel and Al-Amin. We have to consider conditions in Dhaka before taking a decision.

"We have to see how the dew is here. The grass here and in Chittagong are different. The condition of the ball is also important. The second ODI had more dew than the first one. We will first have to see how it goes this evening before thinking of a decision [at the toss]. We saw in Chittagong that the grass started to get wet by 4-5pm. Today maybe we will get some idea."