Bangladesh look for clues in weighty dead rubber


It’s a dead rubber alright but Bangladesh have a point to make. They went to New Zealand hoping to register their first ODI win but here they stand, having lost the series and are left with nothing better in the third and final ODI than proving that they are good enough. And that their success at home counts for something.

The visiting batsmen have found life tough against the moving new ball, and Bangladesh’s counter attempts to retaliate have been stonewalled by Martin Guptill, who’s hit two hundreds in two games and will be keen to make it a hat-trick. Kane Williamson’s absence from the line-up this time, with the batsman going off for a pre-planned rest, amounts to some upheaval in the top-order – something Bangladesh will look to prey upon in their attempt to avert the whitewash.

To make matters worse for Bangladesh, they find themselves in the middle of crucial injuries. Mohammad Mithun, their one batsman who’s looked the part this series, is nursing a hamstring injury he sustained in the second ODI, whereas Mushfiqur Rahim is battling a rib-cage injury, his long-term nemesis.

That aside, it will come down to execution. Tamim Iqbal talked about surviving the first ten overs, and it will be interesting to see what Bangladesh can muster once they can get past the opening few spells from Trent Boult and Matt Henry.

When: Wednesday, February 20 at 11:00 AM (local), 10:00 PM (GMT), 3:30 AM (IST)

Where: University Oval, Dunedin

What to expect: It’s expected to be a clear day in Dunedin. Another good track and short boundaries await the teams but it’s the swing that has been doing the damage.

Teams:

New Zealand

With Williamson rested, Tom Latham will lead the side. Returning Colin Munro is likely to slot back into the opener’s role, with Henry Nicholls moving down the order to bat at No.3.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (c/wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Bangladesh

Liton Das has looked all at sea at the top of the order this season but with Mithun and Rahim susceptible with injuries, he might just survive the axe.

Probable XI: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mustafizur Rahman

What they said

“It’s another great opportunity for someone like Henry to expand his range of batting in those top six positions and doing a great job as he’s been doing.” – Heinrich Malan, New Zealand’s interim batting coach, on Nicholls batting at No.3

“Whoever comes in need to bat long… because if you lose a couple of wickets in the opening 10 overs, it gets difficult to make a comeback” – Tamim Iqbal analyzes where the problem lies for Bangladesh.

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