The emphasis now appears to be on rebuilding the team for a stronger showing at the ODI World Cup the following year after the semi-final setback at the T20 World Cup. However, after India gave Bangladesh a 2-0 series lead on Wednesday, the road to achieving that goal has not gone well. After the small Mehidy Hasan Miraz inspired the hosts to a five-run victory in the second ODI with a remarkable hundred, India’s poor batting performance and inability to deliver the decisive blow contributed to their second consecutive series loss in Bangladesh. In order to reach his first century, Miraz harassed the Indian bowlers as Bangladesh made an incredible comeback to reach 271 for seven.
At 207 for 7, India’s challenge appeared to be over, but skipper Rohit Sharma’s heroic effort (51 not out off 28 balls) was in vain because he almost led his team to victory while batting with a split left webbing. After the loss, former India opener Virender Sehwag gave a quirky take on India’s recent form. “Cryptos se bhi tez gir rahi hai apni performance yaar (Our performance is falling faster than crypto currencies). Need to shake up – wake up,” he wrote in a tweet.
In terms of the game, India required a six off the last ball, but Mustafizur did brilliantly to nail the yorker under pressure after a string of slow leg-breaks in the 48th over forced Mohammed Siraj to bat out a maiden. Mashrafe Mortaza and the company defeated MS Dhoni and the company in Bangladesh’s previous ODI series at home in 2015. With the World Cup less than a year away, the series loss also compels India to start over.
India was in a desperate situation in the run chase at 65 for four but a spirited 101-ball 107-run performance from Shreyas Iyer (82 off 102) and Axar Patel (56 off 56) brought them back. As a result of elbow pain sustained while fielding in Bangladesh’s innings, captain Rohit did not come out to open. He didn’t decide to enter the middle until the seventh wicket fell, and even then, he was visibly uncomfortable.