Bangladesh refused to give up the hopes of sweeping the series even though team management wants to test their bench strength in the third and final ODI against West Indies, staring Saturday at Providence Stadium in Guyana.
The match which starts at 7.30pm (Bangladesh Time) will be aired live on T Sports Channel.
The final game turned out to be a dead rubber after Bangladesh took an unassailable 2-0 lead following strong performances in the first two matches.
Bangladesh, earlier, were whitewashed in two-match Test series and lost the three-match T20 series 2-0 (first game ended in a no result).
But the favoured ODI format turned the tide in their favour.
Guyana which was also the venue of the first two ODIs provided a slow pitch like Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Staidum, that suited Bangladesh’s strength. The Tigers won the rain-curtailed first game by six wickets, before sealing the series with an emphatic nine-wicket win in the second game.
Offspinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed who made his ODI debut in this series were instrumental to deliver the victory in those two matches.
But Bangladesh may bring up sweeping changes to the squad for two reasons -the series is not the part of the ICC Super League so there was no concern for losing valuable points and they want to test their bench strength as they are looking for a combination for the 2023 Men’s 50-over World Cup in India.
“I think it is high time to test our bench strength,” Tamim said after the second game against West Indies. “It’s not the part of ICC ODI Super League so there is no concern of points. So when you will win the series, you definitely need to give some players chance to play the match. Even I myself am willing to miss a match to give our bench players an opportunity to play this match.”
Bangladesh, however, have three players —Ebadot Hossain, Anamul Haque Bijoy and Taijul Islam who didn’t play a game in ODI. There is chance that Bangladesh may rest Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed and a top order batter to accommodate these three players.
“We have to observe our bench strength. Yes we definitely want to win the series by 3-0 but that also it is important to give the bench players an opportunity to play since we need a good combination for the upcoming ODI World Cup.”
The Wednesday’s victory in the second game not only sealed the three-match ODI series but also extended Bangladesh’s winning streak against West Indies to 10 straight matches.
Also it was Bangladesh’s fifth consecutive bilateral ODI series win – having beaten Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and South Africa before this series win. The series victory is Bangladesh’s fourth straight against the Caribbean side.
So a victory in the third game will extend their winning streak to 11th matches in a row apart from sweeping of the series. And it doesn’t look impossible even if Bangladesh bring massive changes to the squad as the West Indies batters looked clueless against the Tigers spinners in extremely slow track.
The Tigers indeed remained unbeaten against West Indies since 2018. Back then the T20 series was held in USA where they registered 2-1 victory. Bangladesh then twice won series, with 2-1 and 3-0 result in Bangladesh in 2019 and 2021. In between they won every match against West Indies in neutral venues and multinational tournaments like World Cup and tri-nation series.
Overall the Tigers played 43 matches against West Indies, winning 20 and losing 21. The two matches ended in a no result. If Bangladesh win the last match, the win loss ratio will be equal.
Bangladesh however played 396 ODIs, winning 142 and losing 247 while seven matches didn’t produce any result. But of late Bangladesh win ratio is higher than the defeat. Specially after 2015 World Cup, Bangladesh won 16 series but lost just four, which is the testament of their sheer strength in this format.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (c), Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Liton Das (wk), Nurul Hasan Sohan, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain and Nasum Ahmed.
West Indies: Shamarh Brooks, Brandon King, Rovman owell, Keacy Carty, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran (c ), Shai Hope, Akeal Husein, Alzarri Joseph, Anderson Phillip and Jayden Seals.