ESPNcricinfo – West Indies were in frenzy towards the end of the second ODI, having sunk Bangladesh from a seemingly stable position to a sudden rout. They had bowled them out for less than 70 once before, but the high a team gets after engineering a collapse must rank alongside a bowler getting a hat-trick or a batsman scoring more than 30 runs in an over.
It is not just Sunil Narine’s variety that has made West Indies’ bowling attack look threatening. Jason Holder and Kemar Roach have alternated between roles as new-ball enforcers and holding bowlers. They haven’t used too much pace but bounce has been ever-present, alongside change of pace.
West Indies would now want a similar performance from the batsmen who performed more than adequately in the last two games, but looked rusty for long periods. Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo have fifties under their belt but captain Dwayne Bravo has stressed he wants them to make full use of a good start.
Kirk Edwards and Lendl Simmons have struggled, but Denesh Ramdin and Kieron Pollard have compensated with their good form lower in the order.
West Indies’ strength lies in their big-hitting allrounders and, with the addition of Andre Russell for the third match, they will look to bolster the middle and lower order at the relatively small Warner Park. Pollard on song could be brutal on the Bangladesh bowlers who have so far held their own in the first two games.
The visiting team’s bowlers have fought harder than their batsmen in the series. On a small ground, the bowlers will have a tougher time, compounding the problems of a struggling battling line-up that hit a new low in the second ODI.
So far only Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal have given hope of scoring a few runs. The plan to use Imrul Kayes and Shamsur Rahman at Nos. 3 and 4 may now be shelved while Mushfiqur Rahim is also due for some runs. Nasir Hossain has looked uncomfortable at the crease and Mahmudullah’s bowling may help him get another chance despite failures with the bat.
The situation can only lead one to think West Indies will have a cakewalk today. However, Bangladesh have some of the most emotional supporters in the world, who would be expecting a response of some sort from the team after the Grenada debacle.
In the spotlight
Sunil Narine has been nothing short of a terror for the Bangladesh batsmen. His three-wicket burst turned the second ODI on its head while his tight, late spells in the first game ensured a below-par total. Expect more of the same from him.
Anamul Haque had a wry smile after he was given out caught behind in the second ODI. He wouldn’t have realised how the rest of the innings would pan out, but his first ODI exploits will be desperately sought as Bangladesh look to bounce back at Warner Park.
West Indies have added Andre Russell to their third ODI squad, and given his excellent form in the CPL, he could be picked in the playing XI at the expense of one of the bowlers.
Shamsur Rahman and Nasir Hossain have had poor games and could make way for Mithun Ali and Mominul Haque. Mahmudullah is likely to survive the chop despite a first-ball duck on Friday, thanks to an encouraging bowling performance. Sohag Gazi has been reported for a suspect action but it will not affect his selection for the ODI.
Pitch and conditions
The last international match was played here more than two years ago, but both teams will be aware that Warner Park is batting-friendly and has short boundaries. There have been five 300-plus scores at this ground.
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