The Mashrafe Mortaza-led Bangladesh have played some consistent cricket throughout the series and have outclassed West Indies both the times in league matches.
The pace quartet of Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed, who picked up five wickets in his last game, and Mohammad Saifuddin have been in superb form and have made life easier for Bangladesh batsmen. Bangladesh were able to restrict West Indies to below-par totals in both encounters and the rest was taken care of by their batting unit.
Mehidy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan have been economical, but the decision of sending the latter to bat at No. 3 seems to be working for Bangladesh. The all-rounder has been pretty vocal about his desire to bat at that spot and Shakib hasn't disappointed so far. With scores of 61*, 29 and 50*, the left-hander averages 140 and has been finishing games for his side.
He was forced to retire hurt in the last match due to a side strain, BCB selector Minhajul Abedin has assured his injury is not serious and will not have an impact on his World Cup chances. However, it looks highly doubtful that he will participate in the final.
While the focus will on winning the final, the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman will want to spend as much time as possible out in the middle.
Meanwhile, John Campbell and Shai Hope helped West Indies to thrash Ireland by 196 runs in the opening encounter of the series, but the Jason Holder-led side has struggled since then. Campbell hasn't played a game since then due to a sore back and there's still no update on his recovery.
The majority of the runs have been scored by Sunil Ambris and Hope, and other batsmen will have to put their hands up if they want to compete with Bangladesh. However, once the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite and Nicholas Pooran join the squad for World Cup, West Indies will look like a completely different unit.
However, West Indies bowlers will have to step up their game considering how inconsistent they have been throughout this series. Apart from Shannon Gabriel, other bowlers have lacked control and have mostly ended up leaking quite a few runs.
It's going to be cloudy in Dublin on Friday but one can expect players from both the teams to lit up the stadium one last time before the mega-event in England and Wales begins.
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Yasir Ali, Nayeem Hasan.
First Published: May 16, 2019, 4:52 PM IST