About the Match
Having lost their opening games, both Australia and Bangladesh need a win when they meet each other on 21st March at Bangalore; while the Aussies lost against New Zealand by a narrow margin of 8 runs, Bangladesh lost heavily against Pakistan by 55 runs. The upcoming contest will be keenly fought by both teams and it could be anybody’s game; however, the side that can perform under pressure and hold its nerves together in crunch situations will be better placed to emerge victorious on Monday.
Although they have a long batting line-up with experienced players, the target of 143 runs against the Kiwis was a bit too much against the spinners; openers Khawaja and Watson started the chase well but the others down the line couldn’t build required partnerships. Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh tried to keep the scoreboard ticking, posting 20+ runs each but with hard-hitters like Faulkner, Warner and Smith getting out for single digits, they lost the plot in an uncharacteristic way.
Earlier, the spinners Watson and Maxwell did well to dismiss 3 opponents between them and Faulkner took 2-18 to cause some upsets to the opposition but they could have done better with a well-rounded spin attack. Marsh also took a wicket and Adam Zampa stifled the Kiwis but they will have to strategize well against Bangladesh, who can throw in some surprises on Monday.
Overall, with players like Smith, Warner, Maxwell, Khawaja and Watson, they can definitely make a comeback with the bat; the bowling squad has good balance in pace and spin but they must adapt to the ground conditions to keep an upper hand on Bangladesh.
Speedsters Al-Amin Hossain and Mashrafe Mortaza failed to take wickets and leaked away too many runs to Pakistan; the main wicket-takers Arafat Sunny and Taskin Ahmed have been suspended from bowling for the moment and the team will need to come out with other combinations to outwit the Aussies. Sabbir Rahman did well taking a wicket and giving away only 11 runs on the 2 overs that he bowled; Shakib Al Hasan can be a great asset with his all-rounder skills and will need to bring all his firepower here.
Chasing 202 runs was an uphill task for Bangladesh right from the start; Tamim Iqbal who has been in tremendous form recently could score only 24 runs and with no solid partnership, the runs came slowly. Shakib Al Hasan’s unbeaten 50 off 40 was a good sign but the others failed to impress and they lost the match by a massive 55 runs.
They have definitely received a jolt to their bowling plans but they have good resources like Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Hider, who can take consistent wickets with their variations. The batsmen must pull up their socks and try to build a solid foundation whether batting first or during chase; they have a tough opposition here but this is a must-win situation that they must conquer.
Both teams will fight hard to earn their first victory, which is much required if they want to keep their chances alive; while Bangladesh have a lot of talented players, we feel Australia with their strong batting line-up are better placed to win the match on Monday