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Indomitable Tigers eye ODI series sweep against India

After winning two thrilling matches, Bangladesh’s sole target is now to inflict a whitewash on India for the first
time in any format of cricket as they take on the subcontinent rivals in the third and final ODI at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram tomorrow (Saturday).

The match starts at 12 PM and will be aired live on Gazi Television and T Sports Channel.

Bangladesh won the first match by one-wicket and secured a 5-run victory in the second match which won them the bilateral ODI series against India for the second successive time. On both the occasions, Mehidy Hasan Miraz was Bangladesh’s hero as he won the game for the team from the jaws of defeat.

In the first match, Mehidy held his nerve to secure the unlikely victory after staring down 51 runs deficit with just one wicket in hand and in the second game when Bangladesh slumped to 69-6, he struck his maiden century
(100 not out off 83) to help the side post a commanding 271-7. And the total proved to be enough despite a late blitz from Rohit Sharma who almost won the game with 28 ball-51 not out despite being badly injured on his left thumb.

While they are oozing with confidence after finding way to beat India twice from a pressurized situation, Bangladesh will get further advantage in their whitewash mission. India paid the price of playing excessive cricket by losing three players-skipper Rohit Sharma was out from the third game and KL Rahul will lead the side. Their strike bowler Deepak Chahar and another pacer Kuldeep Sen also got injured and returned to home with the captain Rohit.

Chahar bowled just three overs in the second game and his absence cost India dearly in the death overs as Bangladesh plundered 68 runs in last five overs. Rohit meanwhile even could miss out the Test series. Such was their tight schedule that most of the players who were in the Indian squad are almost out of the home for the last six months. Even their rotation policy didn’t work in the face of huge amount of cricket.

But Bangladesh have no reason to think about India’s injury concern or tight schedule as they once again came close to whitewash the mighty neighbours and they didn’t want to miss it this time. Earlier in 2015, they had the chance but missed it as India won the last match to avoid the clean sweep.

“Our job is not over yet. This team has never beaten India by a margin of 3-0. So this is our main goal,” Bangladesh fielding coach Shane McDermott said.

“When we win 3-0, we will certainly find pride in ourselves. Earlier, we won against Pakistan, New Zealand. I came very close to playing the semi-finals in the World Cup. We are playing competitive cricket now and we are starting to win in pressure moments. I know, after winning this series, the boys are more eager to win another match,” Mcdermott also hinted that Bangladesh are unlikely to make any changed as they are eying a whitewash.

India would have to bring some changes after three of their players got injured including regular captain Rohit Sharma. India had already added spinner Kuldeep Yadav to the squad and he is highly likely to make his way into the last ODI as they are eying to avoid a whitewash.

Chattogram pitch normally offered true bounce and good carry, which played to the overseas teams strength but this time it is ensured that the pitch will play to home team’s advantage as it is the ideal practice in the world cricket.

The two teams played 38 matches so far between them with India winning 30. Bangladesh now won seven matches while one match fetched no result.

Squad:

Bangladesh: Liton Das (captain), Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Nasum Ahmed, Mahmudullah, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Nurul Hasan Sohan

India: KL Rahul (captain), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Tripathi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav.