Australia take on Bangladesh on the 5th of June at The Oval with both sides looking for a better outing this time around. Bangladesh were comprehensively beaten by England by eight wickets in their opening match while the Australians were fortunate enough to escape the encounter with a point against New Zealand, despite a woeful batting display. By virtue of their no result, Australia might still have a sliver of hope left even if they lose on Monday but for the sub continental outfit it will certainly be curtains if they do not manage to win.
These two sides met in the Champions Trophy way back in 2002, this being their only meeting in the history of the tournament. The Tigers were no match for the Aussie giants and were easily swept away, losing the match by 10 wickets. They have played against each other 19 times in the ODIs, Australia winning a whopping 18 out of those 19 meetings. The solitary Bangladesh victory came in Cardiff back in 2005, thanks to a magnificent Mohammad Ashraful ton.
Mohammad Ashraful's century at Cardiff in 2005 delivered Bangladesh its greatest ever victory
Very evidently, bowling is Bangladesh’s weaker suit and therefore one can expect a high score against them. Australia have lots of pacers in their squad and having seen New Zealand’s ploy of constantly keeping it short of a length working a treat against themselves, they will perhaps look to test the Bangladeshis with some chin music. However, their attack did look a tad one-dimensional in the last game, and the talented leggie Adam Zampa might get a look in. Bangladesh know their batting needs to make up for their bowling. They will be pinning their hopes on their top 3 to perform well again and will also expect the likes of Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rehman to help them to a total well in excess of 300. Australia will be looking to put a forgettable outing with the bat behind them, and their batting feels too good to fail twice in a row. The David Warner backlash that inevitably follows a failure should be fun to watch, for everybody except the Bangladeshi faithful.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith(c), Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade(wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim(wk), Shakib al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza(capt), Rubel Hossain, Mustafiz ur Rahman
Bangladesh will place a lot of hope in their bowling prodigy, Mustafiz ur Rehman. The talented youngster has taken the world by surprise and has already picked up 43 wickets in his budding career. He'll probably have to work just a little harder to pick up wickets now that the opposing sides have started to treat him with some caution and respect, evidenced by England’s clear ploy of not allowing him to pick up a wicket even if meant foregoing some scoring opportunities
Mustafiz ur Rehman has already picked 43 wickets in his short career
Australia on the other hand would be hoping that Aaron “The Tank” Finch can score runs at the top. Having recently made a comeback to the international arena, he did look like he was getting back to his best in the warm-up game against Sri Lanka where he scored a hundred. The big Victorian has made a name for himself with his aggressive batting and if he gets going on Monday at the Oval, the Bangladeshis will have a hard time in getting their second ever victory against the Aussies in ODIs. Adam Zampa, if he does get the nod, will also be a fascinating watch against a team that generally play spin well.
Aaron Finch was at his best during the warm up game against Sri Lanka
Soumya Sarkar still needs 47 runs to complete his 1000 runs for Bangladesh in ODIs. He can still make history becoming the fastest Bangladeshi to the landmark, if he does so in this game.
The belligerent David Warner requires 36 runs to get to 4000 ODI runs (he has a terrifying strike rate of 96.91 in the format).
Glenn Maxwell, aka the Big Show, needs 43 more runs to reach the 2000 run milestone. His strike rate, a mere 125.28, is even more other-worldly than Warner’s.