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Series in bag, India look for a whitewash

Mirpur (PTI): Having recorded an improbable victory, a confident Indian team would look to go for the kill by completing a 3-0 rout when it meets an out-of-sync Bangladesh in the final one-dayer on Thursday.

Defending a paltry 105 with an astounding show, the ‘Men In Blue’ will be on cloud nine as they gear up for a ‘Whitewash’ of Mushfiqur Rahim and Co. More than dismissing Bangladesh for 58, what Stuart Binny’s unbelievable figures of 6/4 did was to ensure that home team’s confidence hits nadir and Suresh Raina’s boys will now go for the jugular in the final match of the series to end on a high.

Raina will be happy that while his openers set up a well-deserved win in the first ODI, his seamers did a splendid job on Tuesday. If his middle-order batsmen can get some runs under their belt, the team will feel that they have ticked all the boxes during this hurriedly sandwiched series before the England tour.

For India, the only cause of concern will be the performance of their middle-order batsmen Ambati Rayudu and Cheteshwar Pujara. While Rayudu was unbeaten during the first match, Pujara has been dismissed cheaply for scores of 0 and 11 in both matches although he suffered in the first one due to an umpiring error.

With the series already pocketed, it would be interesting to see whether skipper Raina along with coach Duncan Fletcher experiments a bit with the middle-order. Time is certainly running out for Pujara as far as his place in the ODI side is concerned. Not the quickest of fielders, Pujara has not even managed a score 20 plus in the five ODIs he has played so far.

Rayudu, on his part, has never looked in control of situations in the 12 ODIs that he has played so far. A strike-rate of less than 70 in ODIs in these days with field restrictions loaded in favour of batsmen is not exactly what is expected from a specialist willow wielder. If the team management has an objective of trying out all the fringe players, then the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Manoj Tiwary would deserve a go in the middle-order in place of Rayudu and Pujara.

The opening duo had a bad day in the second game but is certain to continue while the bowling attack, after the performance of Mohit and Binny, is likely to remain unchanged.

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