IND-vs-BAN--3rd-odi-preview
The ‘Bangla-wash’ threat looms over India © Getty Images

A wounded India will face a rampaging Bangladesh in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) of the series at Dhaka on Wednesday. The hosts have already completed a historic series victory, and have now been undefeated at home in their last 10 ODIs.

For India, a long and gruelling season is finally at an end. With India’s tour of Zimbabwe being cancelled, the players will be able to get some much-deserved rest and relaxation. Before that though, they must play for pride in a series where they have been outplayed. READ: India were comprehensively outclassed by Bangladesh; no fluke involved

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have both scored fifties in the series, but neither has gone past 63, which is in fact India’s highest individual score in the series. The duo need to buckle down, and at least one of them will need to play a long hand and ensure India get to a respectable total. Virat Kohli’s lack of runs has hurt India a lot, but he looked fluent in the second ODI till his dismissal. READ: Virat Kohli’s recent ODI form is a worrying aspect for India

Suresh Raina too has done well, and will be key to India’s hopes in the middle order. MS Dhoni promoted himself up to No. 4 in the last match, which was a good move. He might not have been a huge success in the previous match, but it makes a lot of sense for him to persist at that position. Ambati Rayudu could not make the most of his chance in the last game, but he might retain his position over Ajinkya Rahane. READ: India’s overseas woes touch new lows with series defeat to Bangladesh

As far as the bowling goes, Ravichandran Ashwin has been outstanding but has received little support from the others. India brought in an extra spinner in the previous game, but neither Akshar Patel nor Ravindra Jadeja looked in the least bit threatening. Given Stuart Binny’s record spell the last time he played in Bangladesh, India might just bring him in at the cost of one of the spinners. READ: Ravichandran Ashwin needs better spin partners

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been consistent, but none of the other pacers have shown any real signs of doing well. Umesh Yadav took two wickets in the first ODI, but was expensive. Mohit Sharma was terribly off colour, and will be lucky to get another game. Dhawal Kulkarni ought to have taken a wicket early, but a controversial catch by Kohli was not given. READ: Is Virat Kohli a cheat? Bangladesh umpire Sharfuddoula seems to think so!

On the other hand, Bangladesh have been on a different plane. They have turned a corner since the Zimbabwe series in 2014. After showing signs of improvement Down Under during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, they came into their own back at home by vanquishing both Pakistan and India. READ: Bangladesh have shown tremendous depth in quality since ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Mustafizur Rahman has become a household name now, and could become the first man in history to take three five-wicket hauls in his first three ODIs. The way India have played him, it would not be too hard to imagine that happening. READ: Mustafizur Rahman: Another example of Bangladesh’s growing pool of international talent

Bangladesh’s real strength have been their bowling, with Taskin Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Rubel Hossain, and even Nasir Hossain offering terrific support to the rookie Mustafizur. That being said, their batting has been top-notch as well. Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar have proven tough to dislodge, while Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib, and Sabbir Rahman have also got runs. This is not the kind of Bangladesh team we are used to seeing, and it is truly refreshing to see them do well. Their fans have got too carried away though, and have yet to learn how to be graceful in victory. READ: MS Dhoni’s tactics and team changes don’t seem to work

India will come out all guns blazing, but Bangladesh will undoubtedly start favourites. It is not a position they are used to being in yet, but one feels this is just the beginning for the Bangla Tigers. READ: Bangladesh should now get the respect which they truly deserve

Squads:

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Rony Talukdar, Arafat Sunny, Litton Das, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed

India: MS Dhoni (c&wk), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni

Time: 15:00 local | 09:00 GMT | 14:30 IST

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