At this moment, in the prevailing circumstances Bangladesh stands the brightest possible opportunity to win the ODI series and even achieving a Banglawash Of Zimbabwe. Having won the first match already by 150 runs it must leave nothing unturned today to play ruthlessly and wrap up the series.
We understand there is trend not to change the winning combination. But from lessons learned in the first ODI there can be some fine-tuning, some minor adjustments. We hope team management can objectively assess the performance of each batsmen and can review batting order. The top order fell twice in two formats on the same ground. In either case Liton and Riad rescued Bangladesh from tight corner. We cannot expect the same happening all the time.
Bangladesh may have to encounter similar situation if again Bangladesh loose the toss and asked to bat first. In the absence of Mushfique, Mahmudullah is the most technically accomplished batsman. In case of early loss of opener why Mahmudullah cannot bat in the top order shielding Shakib batting at four or five. Shakib needs one long innings only to get back his fluent best. Mithun and Mosaddeq can be better utilised at lower middle order.
We have seen how the top order in the early stage of Bangladesh innings succumbed to quality new ball attack of the home team. Ok Tamim got an exceptionally good delivery and could not avoid poking it on its way to the keeper. Shakib at number three tried to blast and lived dangerous till falling in the trap set for him. Mithun and Mosaddeq are usually late middle order batsmen. It is well beyond their capabilities to survive quality pace attack on juicy wicket in top order. Bangladesh should explore options. Shakib looks out of form with his bad. His lean patch is prolonging. It can come to any ones career at any stage. But for him it is staying too long for comfort. In case of early loss of opener Shakib must not be sent to bat at three.
We are not sure what is seriousness of wrist injury of Liton. If required let Sohan replace Mithun and Liton play as batsman only. Mosaddeq, Afif, Sohan, Miraj and Saifuddin can take care of late middle order and tail.
Toss will continue to remain a huge factor. Team winning toss will definitely opt to field. Bangladesh pacers should exploit the early stage of wicket equally competently as the home side. Bangladeshi pacers were a bit short with new ball. On such seam swing friendly conditions pacers should bowl full and make batsmen play at the fronfront as much as possible. Even if Bangladesh bats again senior professionals Tamim and Shakib have to contribute playing proper ODI series. One two aggressive strokes and then sacrificing wicket may trigger disaster.
Suggested Playing XI:
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (capt), Liton Das, Mahmudullah Riad, Shakib Al Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan (wk) , , Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam
Zimbabwe for lack of bowling depth could not keep the pressure going. They may add Sikandar Raza for better balancing the team. Senior batsmen Tayor, Chakava, Sikandar Raza and Ryan Buri must take additional responsibility. The home team proved novice against very incisive Shakib.
Zimbabwe: Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Brendan Taylor (capt), Dion Myers, Regis Chakabva (wk), Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava
It is a great opportunity for Bangladesh to wrap up the series today and going strong to achieve a series white wash winning the third as well. 30 points from three matches would place Bangladesh in a comfortable position for direct qualification for playing the 2023 ICC World Cup. There should not be any complacency at stage. Nothing must be taken for granted.
BDST: 1233 HRS, JUL 18, 2021