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Cricket news - Bangladesh's moment of truth with series on the line

In his pre-series press conference, Mahmudullah spoke at length about his side having nothing to lose and a lot to gain with two of their key players missing. Once they clinched the Delhi T20I, Mushfiqur Rahim too tried to underplay the win and felt only a series win could bring back normalcy after tough two weeks leading up to the tour. Bangladesh came to India having lost eight consecutive T20Is. The win in Delhi was a result of past learnings and the team's collective keenness to break that mental barrier.

Bangladesh, though, now find themselves in a tough spot once again. The mauling in Rajkot, especially the assault from Rohit Sharma, can leave a side, any side, deflated. Now, not only do they need to show that the lessons from those eight defeats were absorbed well, they also will have to prove they've become a temperamentally better side.

In a par chase in Delhi, Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar did just about enough to stay in the hunt before the seasoned campaigners drove home the win. However, when stuck in on a batting wicket, Bangladesh's top three were found out as their starts only led to the team posting 153. Head coach Russell Domingo admitted in Nagpur the side doesn't have the muscle to out-bat teams like England or West Indies but need to be smart to put the inexperienced Indian bowling under pressure. The resurgence, as is the norm, needs to come from the top three.

As India try to find the ideal support cast the established players for the 2020 T20 WC, Khaleel Ahmed's form has only raised concerns. Rohit Sharma stressed he's one of the candidates identified for the pacer's role and can do the job for them but figures of 1 for 37 and 1 for 44 have only led to the side being under more pressure. Shreyas Iyer, slowly and steadily, is sealing the No. 4 spot but Shikhar Dhawan's returns have been very underwhelming.There may be a slim chance that India try opening with KL Rahul and give Manish Pandey a chance in the middle-order with Iyer taking up the No. 3 slot.

What: India vs. Bangladesh, 3rd T20I

When: Sunday, November 10, 2019; 19:00 IST, 13:30 GMT

Where: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur

What to expect: Rohit expects a good batting track and it won't be surprising if he's granted one after the loss in Delhi. The track brought the Bangladesh spinners into play and the hosts wouldn't want to test themselves in the series-defining clash. As winter approaches, dew is likely to play a part.

Team news:

India: Khaleel's lukewarm performance has only strengthened calls for a change. Shardul Thakur could well be drafted in the playing XI with India likely to make just one change. Rohit too stressed it's not the right time to change things too drastically.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed/Shardul Thakur.

Bangladesh: Mosaddek Hossain is struggling with a groin niggle and could well be rested. If that is the case, Mohammad Mithun will take his place in the eleven.

Probable XI: Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain/Mohammad Mithun, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain.

What they said:

"There's a lot of talk happening about Rishabh Pant every single day. I feel he needs to be allowed to do what he wants to do. I would request everyone to keep your eyes away from him. He's a young guy trying to make his mark. Every move he makes, people start talking about it and it's not fair. We have to focus on him when he's doing good things as well. He's just trying to do what the team management wants him to do. If you keep your eyes away from him, that'll help him perform well as well" - Rohit Sharma.

"I don't think we are ever going to be a West Indian or England type of batting line-up with guys who can get the ball out of the ground. Just physically we are not that type of team. Afif, Mosaddek and Liton are small boys, we all are trying to get the guys being smart. We are trying to use the pace, running hard between the wickets, getting gaps, picking up twos; six twos in an over is as good as two sixes. We are working on our other strengths" - Russell Domingo.

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