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Buoyant Bangladesh eye rare win over Australia
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Buoyant Bangladesh eye rare win over Australia

Bangladesh have been in inspiring form in the World Cup so far and will require all the self-belief and perfect execution of skills if they are to topple the world champions Australia at Trent Bridge.

Bangladesh currently stand at the number five position in the points table, indicating the minor gap in quality required to secure a place in the top four.

The Tigers have surely turned up for the tournament determined to make a statement and remove the tag of minnows or underdogs once and for all.

They have been largely successful in challenging their opponents by emphatically winning games against South Africa and the West Indies while they pushed table-toppers New Zealand right to the edge before the Kiwis got over the line by just two wickets.

Bangladesh cannot be taken lightly and Australia will be wary of what their batsmen can produce as a supremely dominant show by the Tigers against the feared Caribbean pace attack saw them reach the steep target of 322 inside 41.3 overs.

Australia, meanwhile, have hardly put a foot wrong in this tournament as their top order has come into its own with the opening pair of Aaron Finch and David Warner finding form at the right time.

However, their bowling has been at times patchy but pace spearhead Mitchell Starc's sizzling accuracy of delivering pinpoint yorkers has often saved the team from pressure situations.

Australia's unblemished record over Bangladesh barring the one infamous loss in the 2005 NatWest triangular series shows history backs the five-time champions to appear unhurt after this contest too, but Mashrafe Mortaza reckons this a different Bangladesh side.

"Obviously that Australia (in 2005) was very strong. It's a long time, 14 years, and it was in this country," he said.

"It has changed a lot. I know a few players in our team who believe that they can beat anybody."

Shakib the key for Bangladesh's success

Shakib Al Hasan has been at the helm of Bangladesh's latest resurgence in world cricket as he presently leads the batting charts in this tournament.

Shakib's prowess with the bat and his unbridled aggression has been driving his side's charge.

He will be the key player to target for the Australians as his contest against Starc would be something to look forward to.

"We've obviously put our time into Shakib and all the players at the top of the order as well as their bowling," Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey claimed on the eve of the clash.

"He's in probably career-best form with the white ball. So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and I guess out there we'll assess the conditions as well."

Stoinis' possible return boosts Australia

Marcus Stoinis has overcome his side strain to recover in time for the Australian selectors to retain him in the 15-member squad.

Earlier, Mitchell Marsh was called up as a replacement for the injured Stoinis but the 29-year-old has resumed participation in the nets as he presses for selection in the Bangladesh fixture.

Stoinis' inclusion adds batting and bowling depth to the Australian squad and is expected to be a guaranteed pick provided there are no issues with his fitness.



Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal