India were outplayed by Bangladesh in the first two ODIs, losing by 79 runs and six wickets respectively © AFP
India were outplayed by Bangladesh in the first two ODIs, losing by 79 runs and six wickets respectively © AFP

India have already lost the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Bangladesh 2-0, but can still salvage some pride from the final match. Shiamak Unwalla analyses how India can beat in the third and final ODI. India were comprehensively outclassed by Bangladesh; no fluke involved

India have not done particularly well in any of the three departments so far in this series. One feels that in order to prevail over the hosts, India will need to put in one final effort before what is likely to be a well-deserved break. India’s overseas woes touch new lows with series defeat to Bangladesh

Batting: India’s batting has been a massive let-down. There have been a total of two half-centuries scored — one in each match by either opener — and the highest individual score has been Rohit Sharma’s 63. Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina have looked the most secure, though Virat Kohli was looking fluent in the second ODI till his dismissal. Virat Kohli’s recent ODI form is a worrying aspect for India

The major area for concern for India’s batting has been their inability to negotiate Mustafizur Rahman. The Bangladeshi left-arm seamer has made a highly professional set of batsmen look like absolute novices in the field. The Indian batsman ought to have done their homework by now, and should be able to pick the subtle variations in pace. Mustafizur Rahman: Another example of Bangladesh’s growing pool of international talent

Bowling: Ravichandran Ashwin has been outstanding as usual, but he has not been backed up at all by the others. India have been seriously hampered without Mohammed Shami, whose wicket-taking ability is second to none in the current side. Umesh Yadav is India’s likeliest spearhead, but after bowling brilliantly in Australia has gone back to his inconsistent ways. Ravichandran Ashwin needs better spin partners

MS Dhoni could seriously consider brining Stuart Binny into the side. Given the batsmen’s lack of runs, he will be handy down the order. His bowling could be useful on what has been a dull Dhaka track so far. Pace has not helped India, though Bhuvneshwar Kumar has bowled smartly. Dhawal Kulkarni was denied a wicket in his first over when Tamim Iqbal’s controversial catch was not granted even though Kohli claimed it. Is Virat Kohli a cheat? Bangladesh umpire Sharfuddoula seems to think so!

The remedy: It might make sense to shuffle the batting order a little in order to get the best result. Ajinkya Rahane could open with Shikhar Dhawan, with Rohit Sharma dropping to No. 4 in order to guide the innings in the middle stages. Kohli was looking good in the last match, and he will want to end the series on a high. Raina has been in good nick as well, but has failed to kick on after getting starts, and he should target being around till at least the 45th over. Most importantly, Mustafizur should be dealt with smartly; giving him another five-wicket haul will give a terrible account of the Indian batsmen.  MS Dhoni’s tactics and team changes don’t seem to work

Umesh, Binny, and Bhuvneshwar could be used as the pace bowling options, with either one of Akshar or Jadeja to partner Ashwin in the spin department. Raina can always be used as an addition spinner.  Bangladesh have shown tremendous depth in quality since ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Most importantly, India have to shake off what has happened in the first two ODIs and focus wholeheartedly on the final game. Dhoni had said in the post-match press conference after the second ODI that India should enjoy their final game of the season. If they do, it will most likely result in an Indian win. Bangladesh should now get the respect which they truly deserve

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)