Quality of players, composition of two teams evidences that winning today and wrapping up the three matches ODI series should be a cake walk for Bangladesh. Unless any player is unfit or injured we do not think it will be at all wise changing the winning combination though there may be temptation trying Naim or Afif. But that can be held back till the last match after the series win is done and dusted .Couple of players like Tamim and Mushfique looked a bit rusty. May be the match today can see them back at fluent best. We have not hared much in the media about extent of injury of Liton. Hope he is all right and can resume today where he left off other day. If Soumya is back after honey mooning and ready to play why snot he be considered for the third ODI if everything goes according to plan.
Looking back in retrospect even Mashrafe looked all right with the ball in the first match . Bangladesh has to look beyond the series and must let Tamim and Mahmudullah getting back to their brilliant best given the most demanding time ahead in 2020. We do not like to predict or speculate about Mashrafe own decision of continue or hanging up his boots after the series. If he is fit and willing to lead Bangladesh in one off ODI in Pakistan let him go and try and win another match against Pakistan in Pakistan. In that major contest Bangladesh need a fit Mashrafe leading from the front.
Tamim was struggling to get his innings going and it became more exposed as Liton was all guns blazing in the first match. We think Nazmul Hossain has started paying back the investment made on him and growing after every innings he is playing. Though personally in the third match I will recommend for Naim given an opportunity to give him confidence. If the series is won today Mushfique may also be rested for the third match unless Liton is not fit and Afif can be given a go. Otherwise the team should remain as it is. Off course Abu Jayed Rahi or Taskin may be tried as a pace bowling option in the third match resting Mustafiz.
We are confident that Tamim needs only one big score to storm back into his belligerent best. If in case Mashrafe decides for not continuing or not going to Pakistan Mahmudullah would be the obvious choice for leading the team in ODI . But we hope till Shakib is back again and Mashrafe has the hunger and fitness let him make his own choice.
For the third match let us reshuffle the batting order a bit. Let Mahmudullah bat at three where he scored two ODI centuries in CWC 2015 in Australia New Zealand. Nazmul Shanto can bat at four. Mushfique will not be available for Pakistan tour but he must be kept ready for the rest of the year. There is now a possibility that Asia Cup may be played in Bangladesh.
We must remember match today has lot of significance. Zimbabwe will try bouncing back, Williams will be available today and hopefully Ervine would also play. It may not be as easy as the first match.
My Team and suggested batting order today
Tamim Iqbal Khan, Liton K Das, Mahmudullah Riad, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mehedy Hasan Miraj, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Bin Murtaza, Taijul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman.
In the third match Naim can open with Tamim, Liton can bat at five resting Mushfique and Afif can replace Taijul. Taskin or Abu Jayed Rahi or Taskin can be included in place of Mustafiz.
BDST: 1244 HRS, MAR 02, 2020