Nagpur, Nov 9: With the series tied at 1-1, India and Bangladesh have all to play for in the third and final game at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.
Having won their first-ever T20I against India in the opening fixture in Delhi, Bangladesh set their sights on a historic series win. They began well in the early part of the second T20I played in Rajkot, where they raced to 59/0 from seven overs after being put in to bat.
However, they lost their way against the Indian spinners and ended up posting a below-par total, which the hosts – powered by a Rohit Sharma masterclass – had little trouble chasing down.
Bangladesh will, however, fancy their chances at Nagpur – a venue which has offered significant assistance for the slower bowlers in recent times. Their chief concern though lies in batting, as their batsmen have failed to convert their starts into big scores, barring Mushfiqur Rahim's match-winning fifty in the first T20I, and the visitors will need to address that to challenge the strong Indian team, an ICC report said,
The hosts, after a resounding win in Rajkot, will draw confidence from skipper Rohit's form. In the bowling department, their spinners have performed well in both games.
However, they still have some areas to look into ahead of the decider. The seamers have failed to produce an impact of note and the management might be tempted to draft in Shardul Thakur for Khaleel Ahmed, with the latter having produced returns of 1/37 and 0/44 in the series so far.
Shikhar Dhawan has been among the runs but hasn't quite been able to score at a brisk pace.
Liton Das and Mohammad Naim got Bangladesh off to a solid start after being put in to bat in the second T20I, but India roared back in the contest after Das was run out.
Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar took firm control thereafter, and Deepak Chahar bowled a tidy spell in the final overs, as Bangladesh were restricted to 153/6 in batting-friendly conditions.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan then stitched one of their many century stands in white-ball cricket. The India captain was at his destructive best hitting six fours and as many sixes during his 43-ball 85. Both fell in quick succession but KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer ensured that India completed a comfortable eight-wicket win with more than four overs to spare.
India captain Rohit Sharma said, "I never underestimate the opposition, particularly the bowlers... all these years I have only tried to do my best when I have the bat in my hand. We want to finish well and there is a whole West Indies series coming up and not to forget the two Test matches as well. The year 2019 has been very good so far. Just want to finish it off on a good note."
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said, "Was a very good wicket (in Rajkot), but we were 25-30 runs short. Having said that, credit to Rohit and Shikhar, how they started. Momentum went their way. Aminul is a great find for us, the way he's been putting effort.
Hopefully, he will continue. We need to assess the conditions when we go to Nagpur.
We needed to be a bit more positive." (UNI)