The Tigers have a final chance to put one foot in the door as Zimbabwe look to close it by wrapping up the five-match one-day series today.
The wreckage of the 2-0 margin is still being sifted as the Tigers have held a series of meetings at the team hotel yesterday. It was learned that separate selection and clear-the-air talks among players and team management were held after the Tigers decided on optional training at the Harare Sports Club ground, on the eve of the do-or-die third game, which incidentally is Bangladesh’s 250th ODI.
Despite the occasion, the Tigers have too much on their plate with selection issues chief on the agenda.
The opening pair will survive the chop despite Imrul Kayes’s string of low scores on tour, simply for the sake of stability at the top but questions will be raised on the next positions.
Shahriar Nafees has made 14 each in the first two games and his dismissal in Sunday’s game proved that it has been an impatient time for a left-hander who has hardly ever batted this airily.
Mohammad Ashraful too has looked indecisive despite a fine 73 in the Test and it is likely that the most experienced batsman in this line-up is already feeling the pressure of not scoring in two innings.
Mahmudullah Riyad’s bat hasn’t spoken yet and his two mistakes in the latter stages of the second ODI could work against him, especially after Nasir Hossain’s success with the bat and the option the youngster provides with the ball.
Abdur Razzak, too, finds himself in Riyad’s position after a wicketless ODI series so far. The fact that skipper Shakib Al Hasan used him for just a single over in the last game was poignant given Razzak’s record against Zimbabwe.
Junaed Siddiqui and Shuvogoto Hom Chowdhury are the batting options on tour while Nazmul Hossain could come in if the Tigers opt for a three-man pace attack with Shakib as the only spinner with help from Nasir and Ashraful.
It is also likely that Mushfiqur Rahim will continue as the No 3 while Shakib will keep batting at five to stretch the batting line-up.
A single good performance could still change the Tigers’ fate in this series but if it doesn’t come today, the 250th ODI will be remembered simply as a milestone of failure.
-With The Daily Star input