India won the second T20 against Bangladesh earlier in the week to set up a deciding third match to settle the series, a clash which takes place out in Nagpur on Sunday with everything on the line to open up the Bengals’ tour.
India might feel they have the momentum, if that exists in sport, but Bangladesh showed their class in the first game and will at least have ensured the home side take them seriously heading into this decider.
After being surprised by what Bangladesh brought to the party in the opening match of the series, India did well to bounce back under a lot of pressure in the second game, to set up this excellent occasion. This is exactly what India need heading into the World T20 next year as the chances are they are going to have to play a number of big matches, with a final feel to them, if they are to come out on top.
India have generally bowled well in this series but although they chased down 153 with four and a bit overs to spare in the previous match in Rajkot, their entire batting line up is still leaving a little to be desired. That means there is a heap of pressure on Rohit Sharma to deliver the goods. He is capable of that but India will not want to lose him early else this could get very tense and nervy for them.
This series was lit up by that excellent win by Bangladesh in the opening match of it and although they couldn’t maintain their form in Rajkot, I’m not so sure that conditions were in their favour, so there is no reason to panic just yet. They will need to be at their best if they are to get the job done in this decider, but they don’t have to look back too far for the confidence they need to believe they can win.
In many ways the key for Bangladesh is the first six overs with the ball. If they can contain the Indian top order in the powerplay the home side will be under a lot of pressure and then the tourists may be able to put the squeeze on once again and really get the jitters going in their opposition. The other thing Bangladesh will need to do is bat sensibly and not chase too many just because they were well beaten last time out.
The time might have come for Khaleel Ahmed to be taken out of the firing line. He has a lot to offer India but he has gone round the park in this series so Shardul Thakur could come in to tighten up the bowling attack.
Bangladesh are said to have doubts over Mustafizur Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain although the talk around their issues isn’t as strong as it might be so they are likely to play. That could see another unchanged team for Bangladesh.
This hasn’t been as high a scoring series as it might have been and if anything the players are on what will be the toughest ground to score on here so I’m not expecting another high scoring match. When you add in the decisive nature of the contest then I certainly am not expecting anything special in the run scoring department.
The total runs line for this one is 314.5 which looks much on the high side to me. The first two matches haven’t reached this level and on a slow and turning wicket like we usually get in Nagpur I just don’t see the likelihood of this one going beyond that. The average score is lower than the first two tracks used and that is enough of an indication to lead me to taking the under on this line.
Back Under 314.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.73 with Bet365