Australia meet Bangladesh after three months but with different dynamics

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03 Nov 2021 | 05:16 PM
authorcricket.com staff

Australia meet Bangladesh after three months but with different dynamics

Bangladesh are playing for pride while Australia would be aiming at a big win to strengthen their chances

It is amazing how cricket works. Around three months ago, Australia could not buy a win in Bangladesh. Or you can say they couldn’t bat. They lost four out of the five T20Is, falling short of the par score nearly every time they batted. They were stunned by Bangladesh spinners and Mustafizur Rahman’s cutters. 

Fast forward to present, Bangladesh are set to meet the Aussies again in Match 34 of the ongoing T20 World Cup. The conditions in Dubai are still in their favor though not to the same degree as they were back home. They should be the favorites, right? But the truth is far independent from any level of reliance on these past events. 

Bangladesh are reeling. They are knocked out. They lost their talisman Shakib Al Hasan to a hamstring injury. They were blown away for 84 in their last match. Pride is all they have to play for. Australia, on the other hand, were thrashed by England. However, they would be in a much better frame of mind for two reasons. First, they are still in contention for the semi-finals. Second, all the senior players who were unavailable during the 1-4 drubbing three months earlier - Aaron Finch, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins - are now available.

Criclytics reckon Australia the favorites by a distance. But in another added twist to this tale, Australia, if they win, would want to win by a big margin as they are negative on the net run-rate. 

Can Australia extend Bangladesh’s nightmare

Pace rattles Bangladesh. South Africa aggravated those holes with a prolonged bombardment from Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje which reduced them to a total of 84. 

Australia can stress on it further with two hit the deck pacers in their ranks. Both Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood cease the batsmen from pressing forward with their natural length. 

Hazlewood, in fact, troubled Bangladesh in the T20I series, picking eight wickets in four games, averaging 10.6 runs apiece. He picked four wickets in the powerplay, all of left-handers. Hence, Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar will be under Hazlewood’s radar. Overall, Hazlewood has pouched nine wickets in T20I powerplay this year, the most by a pacer. Seven of them are left-handers and all the of them came via the short or back of a length area. 

With Cummins in the Australian attack, the task will be twice as tough for Bangladesh. Their powerplay numbers are not encouraging anyways - 16 runs per wicket and 5.3 runs per over. 

Australia’s batting test continues

Australia’s white-ball batting returns have been on a roller-coaster ride this year which has seen more downs than ups. This tournament poses the best example. They huffed their way to the finish line in a modest run chase of 118 against South Africa. Against Sri Lanka, they raced to their target in a canter. Just when it appeared the things are falling in place, they crashed against England to 125 all out. 

The eyes will be on Australian batting. Given they need a big win, the batters will have to come to the party. The dismal series in Bangladesh will attract more eyes to the contest. It pushed down Australia to the lowest averaging batting side against spin this year - 16.7. Bolstered by Finch, Warner, Smith and Maxwell, can they counter Nasum Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman later on to improve on that number? This will be the contest of the match. 

Probable XIs

Australia

Ashton Agar played ahead of Mitchell Marsh but it seemed like a match-up decision. Three left-handers in Bangladesh’s batting line-up may prompt them to bring Marsh back with Maxwell to roll his arm over. 

Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Bangladesh

Mustafizur Rahman was rested against South Africa. Knowing how he tormented the Aussies in the T20I series, he is expected to come back. Whom does he replace is the question.

Mohammad Naim, Litton Das (wk), Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan/Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman

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Australia vs BangladeshICC World Twenty20, 2021BangladeshAustraliaMahmudullahAaron FinchGlenn MaxwellJosh HazlewoodPat CumminsMustafizur RahmanNasum Ahmed

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