Well, it was a screamer when Mahmudullah Riyad pulled off the winning six for Bangladesh in takeaway breath Delhi air during the series opener, the very first victory for them against the nearest neighbors in the shortest format of the game.
Apparently the visitors were not favorites to claim the win, a win that was so convincingly taken by brilliant batting from Mushfiqur Rahim burying the many more frustrating moments of losing close contests against India.
Following that, India moved back stronger, with dominance in the second match and leveled the series with a powerful 8 wicket win. Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, however, categorized it as a rather one sided affair at last.
In less than twenty four hours, both teams will lock horns at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur in the series deciding contest. What Mahmudullah Riyad tried to justify in the pre-match press briefing can bring lots of relief in the visiting camp that Bangladesh have nothing to lose and everything to gain with two of their key performers missing from the scene.
While head coach Russell Domingo reflected on playing ‘smart cricket’ reckoning Bangladeshi batsmen are not types of that of West Indies’ or England.
“Afif, Mosaddek and Liton are small boys, we all are trying to get the guys being smart. We are trying to use the pace, running hard between the wickets, getting gaps, picking up twos; six twos in an over is as good as two sixes. We are working on our other strengths,” Domingo said.
The men in form Mushfiqur Rahim, meanwhile, seemed more focused on nothing short of winning the series. However, If Bangladesh could be able to rest on the winners’ list at last, it would be an immense achievement after two weeks of going through the gruesome atmosphere in the country’s cricketing fraternity following the strike and suspension of Shakib Al Hasan.
Both sides might come out with changes. India’s Khaleel Ahmed will be replaced by Shardul Thakur after being expensive in last two matches.
On the other end, Bangladesh are expected to cast away Shafiul Islam to make a place for a left-arm spinner, either Arafat Sunny or Taijul Islam.
Bangladesh Probable XI:
Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain/Mohammad Mithun, Aminul Islam.
India Probable XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed/Shardul Thakur.
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