After a 15-year home ODI defeat to New Zealand, Bangladesh aims to rebound in the final ODI under newly appointed captain Najmul Hossain Shanto.
With regular captain Shakib Al Hasan absent and vice-captain Litton Das opting for rest after the first two matches, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) turned to Shanto, who brings leadership experience from U-19 and age-level cricket.
"This is a moment of great pride for me and my family," Shanto remarked on Monday. "I'm eager to embrace this opportunity."
Facing a potential series defeat against a team that hadn't won an ODI in Bangladesh until the previous match, Shanto remains undaunted. He seeks to end the series on a high note, recognizing a victory as a confidence boost ahead of the World Cup in India next month.
"We're not dwelling on the past," stated the newly-appointed captain. "We must be prepared for whatever comes our way. A victory in the series' final match would be a strong step towards the World Cup, instilling greater confidence in us."
With ten teams participating in the upcoming World Cup, Bangladesh is one of only two yet to finalize their squad, leaving players uncertain. Shanto, however, dispelled this uncertainty, affirming the players have a clear understanding of who will be in the World Cup squad.
Shanto envisions making the upcoming World Cup a memorable campaign, drawing motivation from Bangladesh's strong performance in the World Cup Super League. As one of the top three teams in the qualifying event, Shanto believes this achievement fuels their ambitious aspirations.
The success of Bangladesh's World Cup campaign largely hinges on Shanto's performance at the top order. He embraces the responsibility with optimism, prepared to play a pivotal role for the Tigers.
Bangladesh has made two adjustments to the third ODI squad, reinstating Khaled Ahmed due to Taskin Ahmed's illness, and adding left-handed batter Afif Hossain. These alterations align with Bangladesh's rotation policy aimed at fine-tuning their World Cup squad and ensuring player recovery.
"We have a busy schedule ahead," Shanto emphasized, defending the rotation policy. "It's part of our strategic approach, not a sudden shift in strategy."