The conclusion to the 2nd ODI between Bangladesh and West Indies hardly surprised anybody. The outcome was expected. For the second time on the trot in a series now; the visiting team failed to deliver results in a resounding win for the home team. With this win, Bangladesh have comfortably and with quite some degree of authority stamped their dominance over the visitors; in the process clinching the series. However, all is not over for West Indies yet.
Given that all the ICC teams now have to take the conventional route of qualifying for the ICC World Cup. It would benefit the struggling visitors quite a lot should they manage to rack up a win in the 3rd ODI. Even a win for West Indies would go towards some points for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
Implications of the series
The West Indies team currently touring Bangladesh has been short of around 10 regular players from the usual West Indies team. Players of caliber and experience ranging from the likes of Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Fabian Allen to even Nicholas Pooran have given the series a miss due to the ongoing pandemic situation. Now, while these superstars have been playing across domestic leagues all over the world. The impressing fans and intimidating opponents alike, the loss of these players have hit their own team hard.
Coming into the tour; no one really expected the visitors to pull off a miracle a win the series with a whitewash. But, a cumulative team score of 122 & 148 in the two matches is also a sub-par performance. What it does reveal about the visiting team, therefore, is the bench strength they have. If the recently concluded test series between India and Australia has shown anything; it is the fact that India possesses a bench strength that can win matches. The same cannot be said about the visiting West Indies side currently touring Bangladesh.
Bangladesh vs West Indies 3rd ODI Preview
The third ODI could potentially change the trend and start a reversal of fortunes for the visitors. The ODI is scheduled to be held at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (Chattogram).
If there are takeaways that the visitors can learn from their previous two encounters, it is the fact the spinners can prove to be vital in subcontinent conditions. This is something that no cricketer is ignorant of. However, for some convenient reason, West Indies has chosen to ignore the obvious. During the second ODI, the visitors were a bit shaken but managed to hold up their own against the pace bowling, however, it was the spin which proved to be their undoing. As soon as the Bangladesh spinners were brought into play, the team scattered like a pack of cards.
Among the usual suspects that West Indies should watch out for, Shakib Al Hasan should be top priority. The star all-rounder’s comeback has proved to be a great asset for his team. The first ODI had already proved that he had not lost his touch with the ball, the second ODI proved that he had not lost touch with his bat either. The second ODI saw Hasan score a brisk 43 off 50 deliveries to deliver his team the win. Skipper Tamim Iqbal also looked in fine form as he went on to score a half-century. The performer of the match however happened to be Mehidy Hassan Miraz who finished his spell by taking 4 wickets and conceding 25 runs.
Exploring bench strength
Now that the hosts have taken a decisive upper hand in the series, Bangladesh could look to test out their bench strength. In fact, there are already a few changes that are being made in the Bangladesh squad. Taskin Ahmed is expected to replace Hasan Mahmud, who while picking up wickets has been fairly expensive. Also, Bangladesh could bring in all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin instead of either Soumya Sarkar or Mohammadullah. Given the set position Bangladesh is in, one can expect the hosts to experiment. They have little to lose.
If the visitors, however, wish to make a dent, they would have to approach the game with a different strategy than the previous ODIs. Failing this, one can expect the outcome of the 3rd ODI to be the same as the first two.