02 Aug 2021, 14:35
Update : 02 Aug 2021, 20:01

Tigers seek winning start in T20 series against Australia

DHAKA, Aug 2, 2021 (BSS)- Bangladesh ooze with confidence to make a good start to the five-match T20 series against Australia as they take on the visitors in the opening game tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

The match starts at 6 pm and will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports. This is going to be Bangladesh’s first T20 series against Australia after 2016.

Australia are the only Test nation, against whom Bangladesh played least number of matches in this format. With the side rarely getting the opportunity to play against Australia, Bangladesh vowed to make it memorable one by winning this series.

Bangladesh, however, didn’t win any match against Australia in this format after playing four matches. But still they are confident about their chance, largely due to playing their own condition and also the fact that Australia will be missing some of their key stars like David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch.

Australia looked vulnerable without those stars in West Indies series in which they lost the five-match T20 series by 4-1.

While Australia will be low in confidence, Bangladesh are flying high after completing a hat-trick of series victory in Zimbabwe. They won the one-off Test before sweeping three-match ODI series and thereafter the Tigers won the three-match T20 series by 2-1.

The series against Australia will also be Bangladesh’s dry run for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“Trying to find out our best combination and playing against Australia will give us that opportunity. There are two ways to look at it,” Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said.

“Trying to find out our best combination and keep developing some of the younger players. Secondly Bangladesh don’t play Australia to often so this is a big series for us and we are really determined to do well in it.”

While Australia are without some of their big stars, Bangladesh also will not be getting the service of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das. Tamim was out with knee injury and Liton missed the series due to be with his ailing father.

But Mushfiqur, unarguably the best match winner of Bangladesh in this format, is missing the series due to the stringent bio-bubble rules imposed by Cricket Australia (CA).

Mushfiqur had to break the bio-bubble in Zimbabwe due to be with his ailing parents in Bangladesh. He was ready to maintain mandatory 10-day quarantine imposed by CA and BCB wanted the CA to relax its rule but the visitors rejected it.

Russell Domingo said Australia’s stance on Mushfiqur was disappointing but they won’t give up as they believed that they have the young players who would be motivated to show their mettle in the place of Mushfiqur.

Despite some injury concern, Bangladesh will get the service of ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan who is just five wickets shy of completing 100 wickets in T20 International cricket as the only second bowler in the world after Sri Lanka great Lasith Malinga.

This will be an additional motivation for Shakib, who despite being the No.1 allrounder of the world got a rare opportunity to play against Australia. Moreover Shakib is back in form with his willow which is another positive thing for Bangladesh.

Australia are also looking for a winning start in the series. Matthew Wade will lead Australia in the absence of Aaron Finch.

The Tasmanian batsman led the side on the recent tour of New Zealand and against India last summer in games where Finch was injured. He will do so again in Bangladesh with Finch returning home from the West Indies last week.

He says he is looking forward to leading a side which challenged the World Champion West Indies in the T20 Series in St Lucia and then won the one-day Series in Barbados.

Bangladesh’s T20I squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (Captain), Naim Sheikh, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarker, Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain Patwari, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Nasum Ahmed, Sheikh Mahedi Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat.

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