Bangladesh keen to impress against weakened Australia side
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh is keen to make its first bilateral Twenty20 series against Australia a memorable one.
The series of five matches in seven days begins on Tuesday in Dhaka, and Bangladesh is high on confidence after sweeping Zimbabwe in their test, one-day international and T20 series last month.
“T20 is such a game where you can defeat anyone on a particular day, it hardly matters who is top ranked or not,” Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said. “It’s a great opportunity for us as a team and other players to show our standard. I believe that we are a balanced side in our home and will try to prove it.”
The teams haven’t met in T20 since 2016 and are preparing for the Twenty20 World Cup in October.
But most of the first-choice Australia players have skipped the West Indies and Bangladesh tour, and regular captain Aaron Finch has gone home injured, and Bangladesh is also missing key players such as Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Liton Das.
Tamim is injured, Liton is out of the series because of a family emergency, and Mushfiqur has been forced to miss the series due to Australia’s stringent bio-bubble rules.
Cricket Australia demanded there be no access from outside the bio-bubbles, and Mushfiqur had to leave Zimbabwe early — and the bio-secure bubble — to be with his ailing parents.
Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo was disappointed with Australia’s stance.
“I can’t understand the stringent rules Australia placed on Mushfiq out of the bubble,” Domingo said.
“I think 10 days (quarantine) would have surely been enough. Very disappointing the way they went about it. No Mushfiqur is surely a loss for us but we have got a big squad and some quality players to replace him.”
Domingo admitted they will try to take the advantage of Australia’s inexperience.
“They are missing a couple of key players, and they’ve obviously got some players here who are trying to get into the World Cup squad, so there will be added pressure on those players to perform,” he said. “We will make sure to take advantage to that.”
Australia has never lost a T20 against Bangladesh in four encounters, all of which were one-off meetings at World Cups.
Australia recently lost a five-match T20 series against West Indies 4-1.
“We haven’t changed focus too much,” stand-in captain Matthew Wade said. “Coming with not a lot of cricket, it probably took us a few games to get going against West Indies. I am expecting good results over here.”
“We’ve got good leaders in the group and experienced bowlers as well so probably where my leadership will come in a bit more is with our batting group.”
With Australia’s search ongoing for their finishers in this format, Wade also believes he has the game to adapt to the middle order.
“Thankfully I’ve played for Australia in the middle order a lot, especially in one-day cricket and even T20 have probably played 50-50 (of my innings),” he said. “I’ll find a way to make it work and win some games.
“Things I probably didn’t have seven or eight years ago in my game I feel like I’ve added — laps and things like that — which are really important towards the back end. Feel like I have a few more tricks than I had a few years ago and the advantage in these five games is that I can get in there and see what works and what doesn’t.”
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