Bangladesh are all set to take on India in the third ODI on Saturday at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
After winning the first two matches of the series in Dhaka, Bangladesh have capitalized on a magical batting display by Mehidy Hasan Miraz and strong bowling performances from Shakib Al Hasan and Ebadot Hossain. In the second match, Mahmdullah Riyad also shone with the bat. All eyes will be on the Bangladeshi lineup as they look to clinch a clean sweep against their longtime rivals.
Despite being placed in a precarious position on both occasions, Bangladesh were able to quickly rebound and demonstrate why they are the superior team on the challenging surfaces of Mirpur.
In a heartbreaking second match on December 7, India narrowly lost by five runs despite a heroic batting display from Rohit Sharma, who had battled through an injury to his hand. Unfortunately, this injury has ruled him out from the final ODI, and he remains uncertain for the upcoming Test series beginning on December 14 in Chattogram. The Indian team will have to rally in Sharma's absence if they hope to take the series.
“We have a much better chance with him not playing,” Shane McDermott, Bangladesh’s fielding coach, said about the unavailability of Rohit in the last match. “He is such a high-caliber player. I was a bit surprised that he didn’t come to bat earlier (in the second game).”
It was only the second ODI series win over India for Bangladesh, with the first one coming in 2015.
As Bangladesh aim to achieve a rare clean sweep over India, their bowling-all-rounder Washington Sundar expressed that they were anticipating a fiercely competitive series. The Bangladeshi team have been in formidable form during the series, and it remains to be seen if India can make a comeback and salvage the final match.
“Bangladesh is one of the tough teams in the subcontinent,” he said on Thursday ahead of the final ODI. “I’m sure they will look for a great outing in the next World Cup next year.”
The final ODI will begin at 12pm (Bangladesh time). After the ODI series, both teams will lock horns in the two-match Test series.