India vs Bangladesh: Dhoni's men play for pride
India have tasted their first ever one-day international series defeat against Bangladesh and will look to salvage pride to prevent a whitewash as they go into the third and final ODI match here on Wednesday.
After demolishing Pakistan in a recent three-match series, Bangladesh will be looking to do the same to MS Dhoni-led India.
India have been outplayed by the Mashrafe Mortaza-led Bangladesh, who have discovered a hero in young left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
After losing the first two ODIs to give the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead, the visitors have faced severe criticism from all quarters, but beleaguered skipper Dhoni insists the current team has the best available players.
The Men in Blue have been outplayed in virtually every department of the game since their 79-run loss in the first match and the slide has been difficult to arrest.
The Indians will be keen on winning the last match of the series and save face because a whitewash will be embarassing for the team. But they have to plug all the loopholes to get the better of a spirited Bangladesh.
The top-order's form has been patchy while the team has suffered from lack of partnerships in the middle-order.
The bowling has been far from convincing with the likes of Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma leaking way too many runs on slow Bangladesh pitches. Even spinners Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja have failed to make an impact.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, have been brilliant on all counts and the results are a fair indication of their rise in world cricket.
If the batsmen have shown the will to win by putting up runs on board — the hosts posted 307 in the first ODI — then the bowling department is looking menacing due to the heroics of Mustafizur.
The young left-arm pacer has not only created history by picking two five wicket hauls in as many matches but has also dented the confidence of the Indian batsman.
Going into the final match, the numbers may still favour the Men in Blue but on form the hosts remain clear favourites to sweep the series.
Can't expect Mustafizur to take five wickets every time: Streak
Bangladesh bowling coach Heath Streak made it clear expecting five-wicket hauls in every match from Mustafizur would be unrealistic.
Mustafizur's 11 wickets in his first two ODIs have been key to Bangladesh's sucess.
The pacer broke Zimbabwean Brian Vitori's record of 10 wickets in his first two ODIs when he took 6 for 43 in the second ODI against India in Mirpur on Sunday. The pacer's 5 for 50 in his first ODI made him only the second Bangladesh bowler to take a five-for on debut, after Taskin Ahmed.
"He (Mustafizur) is still very young. We have to be careful. He has taken 11 wickets but we can't expect him to take five wickets every time. He has shown his potential," Streak was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Monday.
"If we look after him and support him, he will be a big match-winner for us. When Mashrafe started, he was looked after throughout his career."
Streak said since some players need more coaching than others, it would be important to closely monitor Mustafizur but they would have to be careful not to overdo it.
"I think that's where as a coach you have to be careful not to over-coach and just help guide them along. When assistance is needed, you remind them. It is a very important part of coaching. Some people need more coaching than others. We have to be careful how we manage him," he said.
The former Zimbabwe pacer noticed Mustafizur in May last year in Bangladesh A's tour to the West Indies and was immediately impressed with him.
After his first five-wicket haul, Streak worked closely with Mustafizur to develop other variations knowing that the Indian batsmen could figure him out.
"For me, he has to execute (his skills) more regularly and consistently."
Streak said the plan was to surprise India by playing four specialist pace bowlers in sub-continent conditions and that he along with head coach Chandika Hathurusingha ensured the bowling attack was chosen based on their suitability to the conditions.
"Mustafizur has been bowling well. We fought hard to get him into the T20 squad against Pakistan and he showed what he is capable of. Since then it has been good to have Mustafizur, Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hussain who we know can perform," the 41-year-old said.
"Mashrafe Mortaza has been a consistent performer for Bangladesh for a long time now. We have a good group and we felt India wouldn't expect that. We knew that conditions, if we can prepare the wickets to suit our style of bowling, would play into our hands," Streak said.
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