Bangladesh’s World Cup has been a roller coaster ride so far. They started with a bang beating a struggling South African team but the next few games did not go according to plan. When they took on West Indies earlier this week they were a little down in terms of confidence. The game against West Indies though was phenomenal. It was basically the kind of game the Tigers were looking for to propel their chances towards a semi-final berth.
Their bowling which had been struggling so far in the competition pulled things back beautifully after West Indies at one stage looked to be posting more than 350 runs. The batting then came to its own chasing the target with almost 9 overs to spare courtesy another Shakib Al Hasan hundred. Things seem to gelling well for the Bangladesh team finally in this competition and they seem to have finally got their right balance in the XI. Litton Das played brilliantly for his unbeaten 94 which meant that Bangladesh now has another player in good form.
Australia though has had a good tournament so far. Except for their loss against India, they have won all their games and their team seems to work like a well-oiled machine at the moment. Marcus Stoinis who is expected to return means that the balance which was looking little iffy in the previous games is back to where it should be in the XI. Their pace attack has been doing well with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in excellent form. The backup pace attack has been a problem for the Aussies and they would want to settle that in the upcoming games.
Australia also hasn’t made much use of their spinners so far which might mean that both Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon will be rusty when they are called upon to bowl in the upcoming games. The batting though looks in great touch. Aaron Finch and David Warner have been brilliant at the top and Steven Smith, as usual, has been among runs. The lower middle order hasn’t been tested much and they would probably be hoping that they will come through when the situation arises.
Head to head:
Bangladesh has only won one game against Australia in 19 tries and that was that amazing game in Cardiff in 2005. They have played twice against Australia in the world cup and have lost on both occasions. The only positive for the Tigers is that they are playing Australia in a country where they managed to get their only victory against them.
David Warner (Australia): David Warner has been in great run-scoring form for Australia in this tournament. Considering Bangladesh’s strength is in their spin attack, Warner can set the tone by attacking their weaker suit which is pace.
Pat Cummins (Australia): Bangladesh batting has been in good form and if they have a weakness it is against good pace bowling. Pat Cummins has been brilliant with the ball in recent times and he will for sure be important in taking wickets and keeping runs in check as well against Bangladesh.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh): Shakib has already proven how important he is with the bat and ball for Bangladesh. He has been in amazing form with the bat and has been bowling well as well. With Australia’s biggest problem being good spin, he will come in play with the ball. He might be taking the new ball against Finch and Warner as well.
Mehidy Hasan (Bangladesh): Along with Shakib, Mehidy Hasan will play a crucial role against Australian batters. Australia have lots of lefties in their batting line up and Hasan with his off-spin can make life difficult for them in the middle overs.
What they said?
“I always want to make a contribution in global events and I want to play so well in this World Cup that it turns out to be a turning point of my career,” Said Litton Das after his scintillating 94 against West Indies
“Bangladesh is playing really good cricket at the moment and it’s led by Shakib. I think he is probably in the best form [of his career] with the white ball. We sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him. We’d love to get him out early. We’re getting the results, we’re striving hard to try to find that perfect game. We’re aware of the areas to keep improving.” Said Alex Carey ahead of the game against Bangladesh
David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glen Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mustafizur Rahman
Defending champions Australia are one of the favorites to reach the final four in the tournament. They have been winning games even when they have not been 100% confident with their team combination. Even though they are looking good they do have a little bit of confusion in their batting order as well as their pace attack. Bangladesh though is a much-improved side in ODIs and have been brilliant in recent times. The win against the West Indies just showed what they are capable of. The Aussie team will be wary about this game and would want to bring in their A game. This will be a good contest but Australia with their experience and skill are still the favorites to win this one.