Dubai: Australia, the most successful team in the history of 50-overs ICC World Cup with five titles, have had an up-and-down campaign in their pursuit for the elusive World T20 crown in the UAE so far. Coming back after a humiliating defeat against their arch rivals England in the last game, they will, however, enjoy the upperhand to put it across a demoralised Bangladesh and salvage their campaign in a day game in Dubai on Thursday.
Now in the third place in their Group I table of Super-12 with two wins in three games, Aaron Finch’s men will want to use this game to win big and boost their run-rate as possible as South Africa are appearing as a surprise contender to make their way to the knockouts as the second team. While their middle order failed to rise to the challenge against some controlled seam bowling and double-spin attack of England the other day, Bangladesh lack that firepower though experienced left-armer Mustafizur Rehman may pose a few questions upfront.
As in the past few games, a lot of attention will be centred around the form of David Warner. The talismanic opener, who looked almost near his fluent best with a half-century against Sri Lanka, was done in by an unplayable away-swinger from Chris Woakes the other day and should be in a position to make amends with captain and old partner Aaron Finch.
MORE ON T20 WORLD CUP
- ICC T20 World Cup in UAE: Gulf News experts and Mr Cricket UAE on big wins for Pakistan and South Africa
- T20 World Cup 2021: Openers hold the key to wins on UAE pitches
- As it happened - New Zealand vs Scotland: T20 World Cup Super-12 match at Dubai International Stadium
- ICC T20 World Cup: Namibia come out with heads held high from big Pakistan test
The Australian pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins came in for some severe punishment at the hands of Jos Buttler the other day in the evening game, with the dew factor aiding the in-form England opener to make use of their pace and send them soaring to the stands. However, the Bangladesh batting line-up which folded for 84 against South Africa in their previous game and have been dismissed below the 100-mark in two games, will come under a severe test in the absence of allrounder Shakib Al Hasan - who is out of the tournament now with an injury.
Strange as it may sound now, Bangladesh had run Australia down 4-1 in a bi-lateral T20 series earlier this year at home, but the Dubai surface is a much truer one - albeit often a bit two-paced. Even though they are playing for pride, there are a number of proven performers in the Tigers’ camp like skipper Mamudullah, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das who should look to take the fight at the rival camp.
There are also a number of personal landmarks on the cards which should spur on some of them. Mamudullah, for one, is 76 runs short of becoming the first Bangladesh player to complete 2000 T20I runs while Rahim needs 36 runs to become the fourth player from his country to complete 1500 runs in T20Is.
In their World T20 meetings so far, Australia has 4-0 record against Bangladesh. It’s difficult to see the tide turning on Thursday.
Catch the match
Australia vs Bangladesh
Dubai International Stadium
Match starts at 2 pm UAE