Bangladesh desperate for morale-lifting win



Shot out for 58 and shut out of the series, deflated Bangladesh seek a miracle against India.

“I think if this were our second team, they would have played better cricket.” This morose statement from the Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was echoed on the streets of Dhaka, with considerably more colour. The hosts might well deserve their fans’ admonishment, after wilting in the face of a target of 106. A series that had looked set to come alive was gift-wrapped to India in a matter of an hour or so.

The Mirpur pitch had sided itself with the bowlers and accuracy proved the most vital discipline as Suresh Raina‘s India defended one of the lowest totals ever. Mohit Sharma and Stuart Binny are practiced in finding a good length and sitting on it. A little nip away, a sharp jag in and some lazy shot-selection led to the hosts’ undoing. If the conditions on the eve of the third ODI remain – decidedly grey clouds and sprinkles of rain in the afternoon – both teams’ batsmen better prepare themselves for another stern examination.

India’s middle order does not portray the kind of solidity it normally does. The lack of a specialist finisher also poses greater responsibility on the top order. Suresh Raina, perhaps wary of this, has assumed the mantle of the No. 5 batsman. But that has also led to his time at the crease being limited. The openers had one good game and one bad one, and Cheteshwar Pujara is yet to sink his teeth into limited-overs cricket. All is not rosy, but India have one more chance to emphasise their batting might.

Sunday was scorching, yet people stood behind the lower-tier stands to catch a glimpse of the cricket – they literally stood through their team’s eighth defeat in a row. Rain spattered across the ground on Tuesday, but they would not budge and witnessed an abject surrender. It is to these people Mushfiqur apologised, but they would prefer he deliver it with a consolation win on Thursday.

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