India aim to avoid Bangladesh whitewash in last ODI
CHITTAGONG: Injury-hit India go into the final match of their One-day international series against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Saturday staring at an unprecedented whitewash and without skipper Rohit Sharma.
Bangladesh have already secured the series after winning the first two matches in Dhaka by one wicket and five runs respectively, but they have never defeated India in all three games of a series.
Sharma fought a valiant fight with a broken thumb in Wednesday’s second match, scoring 51 not out off 28 balls, but was unable to take his side home.
“Rohit has flown to Mumbai for specialist consultation and will miss the final ODI,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement on Friday.
The BCCI said fast bowler Kuldeep Sen and Deepak Chahar were also unavailable for the match, with back and hamstring injuries respectively.
“Kuldeep has been diagnosed with a stress injury and is ruled out of the series. Fellow fast bowler Deepak Chahar sustained a left hamstring strain during the second ODI and is also ruled out of the series,” it said.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav was added to the squad.
All-rounder Washington Sundar said India were looking to improve. “We look to play our best cricket, we have certain things to do, focus on the process and make sure we win the game and end the one-day series on a high,” Sundar told reporters in Chittagong.
Bangladesh are relishing the prospect of a historic success, after winning the ODIs 2-1 on their neighbour’s last visit in 2015. “This team has never beaten India 3-0. That’s a massive goal for us,” said fielding coach Shane McDermott.
“I know that after the series win, the boys have one eye on one more win in this ODI series.”
Sharma’s absence could be a blessing for Bangladesh, he added. “I think with him not playing we have much better chance. We saw his innings the other day, and we know he is such a high-quality player,” he said.
Sharma has scored 738 runs at 61.50 against Bangladesh in 15 ODIs, with three centuries and as many half centuries.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2022