Aussies wary of Bangladesh upset

Australia appear to hold all the aces, but they won't be underestimating Bangladesh in their three-match one-day series starting on Saturday.

updated: September 03, 2008 08:14 IST
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Australia appear to hold all the aces, but they won't be underestimating Bangladesh in their three-match one-day series starting on Saturday.

All three games are being played in Darwin, the series originally scheduled as a Champions Trophy warm-up before that tournament was postponed due to security concerns over the host country Pakistan.

Despite being without captain Ricky Ponting, opener Matthew Hayden and leading paceman Brett Lee, the defending World Cup champions are expected to be far too strong for Bangladesh.

However, Australian seamer Nathan Bracken said they wouldn't underestimate their opponents, having been beaten by them in Cardiff in 2005.

"They've done it before so, yeah, we've got to go out and play well," he said on arriving here Wednesday.

"We're off a break, we're I guess under a bit of pressure and it's up to these guys now.

"It's up to us to put our hands up and perform well and basically if they play good cricket we have to match it."

Only two of the Australians who played in the Cardiff match, Australia's only defeat in 13 one-day matches against Bangladesh, are in their 13-man squad for this series -- interim captain Michael Clarke and his deputy, Mike Hussey.

Bracken said he expected the conditions in Darwin to suit his swing bowling.

"The Australian A team said it swung up here a bit early in the morning," he said.

"So hopefully it we get the chance to bowl early we can utilise that and it would actually give me more of a chance to get a few early wickets and hopefully just bowl well."

The Australians have lost just six of their last 36 one-day internationals, but were upset by India in their home tri-series finals earlier this year.

Hayden's absence could allow injury-plagued all-rounder Shane Watson to open the batting, with wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin another option.

Uncapped Tasmanian seamer Brett Geeves was called into the Australian squad to replace Lee and could make his international debut.

Bangladesh, who are coached by former prolific Australian domestic batsman Jamie Siddons, have warmed up with a series of matches in Darwin and shown mixed form.

Captain Mohammad Ashraful has looked in very good touch with the bat and the century maker in the Cardiff upset will be crucial to their chances of another shock win.

Teenager Tamim Iqbal has also looked in good form, while inexperienced 21-year-old Mehrab Hossain warmed up for the series with a fine double of 132 not out and 31-3 in their final practice match on Wednesday.

Australia had a practice match against an Australian Institute of Sport side on Thursday.


Australia: Michael Clarke (C), Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Brad Haddin, Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, James Hopes, Cameron White, Brett Geeves, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken.

Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (C), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Raqibul Hassan, Shakib Al Hasan, Alok Kapali, Dhiman Ghosh, Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Farhad Reza, Mehrab Hossain jnr, Nazmul Hossain, Dolar Mahmud, Junaid Siddique.