Match Preview – Australia vs Bangladesh, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021/22, 34th Match, Group 1

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Their first task is to beat Bangladesh who had the better of the recent series but are out of the World Cup

Big Picture

Bangladesh will sign off from the World Cup on Wednesday after a poor Super 12s campaign, but can they take Australia with them? At the very least, Aaron Finch’s team need to win both their remaining games to have a chance of a semi-final and even then they will need England to topple South Africa because, barring extraordinary events, their net run rate can’t be improved enough if South Africa also reach eight points.

Australia will hope that Bangladesh’s 84 all out against South Africa was a performance of a side that has checked out of the competition and will look to replicate their problems against pace bowling. Their last meeting went 4-1 in Bangladesh’s favour, but things were a lot different, from the conditions to the teams. Shakib Al Hasan’s loss is a huge dent for Bangladesh, but Australia aren’t good enough to rest on their laurels.
The defeat against England was such a hammering that it has undone most of the good work achieved against South Africa and Sri Lanka. There remains a belief in the Australia camp that the toss played a significant part and if their quicks had got the first go under the same conditions, it could have been different. However, England showed against Sri Lanka, when they laboured to the 10-over mark, that the best teams find a way. From here, there’s only so much Australia can do.

Form guide

Australia LWWLW
Bangladesh LLLLW

In the spotlight

It was a futile effort given Bangladesh’s low total, but Taskin Ahmed bowled superbly against South Africa to take 2 for 18 from his four overs in a match that was dominated by some excellent pace bowling. He trapped Reeza Hendricks lbw and then had Aiden Markram edging to slip the ball after cutting him in half. Australia’s top order can be vulnerable if the ball moves, so Taskin could cause problems.

Glenn Maxwell came into the tournament in some of the best form of his career but things have not quite clicked. He missed a big reverse sweep against South Africa, fell for the cause against Sri Lanka, as he picked out deep midwicket having come in at No. 3 to keep the tempo going, and was undone by the exceptional Chris Woakes against England. It was a surprise to see him still come in at No. 4 in that last match given how much the ball was nibbling around – his best chance would probably have been for someone else to try and take the sting out of the bowling to allow him some freedom. How much Finch feels he can trust him with the ball is also vital to the balance of the side.

Team news

The big question remains: five bowlers or four? Ashton Agar was recalled against England in place of Mitchell Marsh and it could be the opposite for this match.

Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Bangladesh are likely to bring back Mustafizur Rahman at the expense of Nasum Ahmed. Australia wouldn’t mind that, having one less spinner to face.

Bangladesh (probable) 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Soumya Sarkar, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Shamim Hossain, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Shoriful Islam

Pitch and conditions

It’s a return to a day game for Australia which should make the toss slightly less critical – although their two wins have still come chasing. The highest total batting first in Dubai so far has been Sri Lanka’s 154 which Australia overhauled with ease.

 

  • Adam Zampa (eight wickets at 15.37) and Josh Hazlewood (eight wickets at 10.62) both have excellent records against Bangladesh
  • Glenn Maxwell passed 18 in only one of his last eight T20I innings
  • Having taken 14 wickets at 8.40 in the qualifying round, Bangladesh’s spinners have managed just nine at 31.00 in the Super 12s.
  • Shoriful Islam is the third-leading wicket-taker among seamers in T20Is this year behind Mustafizur, Dushmantha Chameera and Hasan Ali

 

Quotes

“The only thing we can do is move forward now and try and win and win strongly. We certainly have the side that’s able to do that. We’ve got so many options, such great squad depth.”
Ashton Agar on the fact two wins may not be enough

“As a professional, we need to come back strongly. We have another game to go. We need to maintain that winning mindset, and build winning confidence. We have to think about Bangladesh cricket’s way forward.”
Rangana Herath Bangladesh spin-bowling coach, on the Aussie challenge

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo