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Bangladesh vs West Indies 3rd ODI Preview: Taskin and Saifuddin set to return as Tigers aim for clean sweep

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan
©Reuters
 

The capitulation of the West Indies batting order in both the first two ODIs has exposed the bench strength of the once-proud cricketing nation.

LIVE - Bangladesh vs West Indies 2021 - 3rd ODI



Depleted West Indies search for quality

It was already anticipated that with West Indies without most of their first-choice players, after as many as 10 of their players pulled out of the Bangladesh tour due to COVID-19 concerns, it was going to be very difficult for the visitors to give Bangladesh a run for their money in their home conditions, let alone winning the series.

However, the margin and the manner of the losses in the first two ODIs have exposed West Indies' bench strength. You can conclude that this is effectively the third string West Indies line up on the park as big names like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and the like, who ply their trade for leagues across the world, are the cream of the crop of West Indies cricket, but are hardly available for selection other than for ICC events.

Then there are talented individuals like Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Keemo Paul who are rising through the ranks quickly in West Indies cricket. They are also not available for this series. Perhaps, the only player in the West Indies XI who would be a part of their first-choice team is pacer Alzarri Joseph. In such a situation, it is understandable for West Indies to struggle, especially in foreign conditions. However, a better performance was expected from the Windies youngsters than getting bowled out for 122 and 148.

 Bangladesh spinners too good for WI

After winning the toss and choosing to bat at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on a much better batting surface as compared to the first ODI, it was a similar script which played out for Windies. Both their openers were back in the hut by the 14th over and the middle order could not make any contribution whatsoever.

It was a 66-ball 41 from Rovman Powell and a few handy cameos from the last two batsmen that took West Indies to 148. Otherwise, the team would have suffered the ignominy of getting bowled out for under 100.

Tamim, Shakib and Mehidy star for hosts

Shakib Al Hasan, who had a memorable comeback in the last match, was good again with the ball and picked up two wickets. As did Mustafizur Rahman while conceding runs at an economy of 1.90. The star with the ball for Bangladesh this time was spinner Mehidy Hassan Miraz who finished with figures of 9.4-0-25-4.

Although the going was slow for Bangladesh in the second ODI, they ultimately won the match by 7 wickets with more than 15 overs to spare. Tamim Iqbal struck a half-century for the hosts. Shakib Al Hasan was much better with the bat as compared to the last match and remained unbeaten on 43 off 50 deliveries to take the side home.

Taskin and Saifuddin to get a go

Not only the 11 players on the park for Bangladesh have been relentless but their bench strength also looks as strong as ever. With the home side having already taken an unassailable lead in the series, they are expected to make a few changes to their playing XI.

Taskin Ahmed is expected to be back in the playing XI in place of Hasan Mahmud, who had a brilliant debut and pocketed a 3-for but was a bit expensive in the last match. All-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin, who will be one of the key players for Bangladesh going forward, can come into the side in place of either Mohammadullah or Soumya Sarkar, both of whom are yet to get a proper hit in the middle.

The best chance for West Indies is to chase in this match and change the dynamics of the game. Otherwise, more of the same is expected.

Here's the squads of both teams:

Bangladesh
- Tamim Iqbal Khan (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Md Mithun, Litton Kumer Das, Md Mahmud Ullah, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Saif Uddin, Mahadi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam

West Indies - Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Keon Harding, Hayden Walsh Jr.

 

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