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Australia’s Bangladesh trip crucial for both nations

Ryan H Roar Guru

By Ryan H, Ryan H is a Roar Guru

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    In recent weeks the floated Australian tour of Bangladesh appears to have come to fruition – and this is simply great news for a home side preparing to launch into yet another Ashes campaign.

    Judging by the reports, the two Test series looks set to go ahead in late August of this year – a rescheduled tour after the debacle in late 2015 which saw that Bangladesh tour postponed for security reasons.

    Thankfully, over 18 months later, it seems Australia will get some Test cricket in the nation after all. It feels like a lifetime ago when Australian cricket fans were blown away at the prospect of Andrew Fekete in a baggygreen.

    That isn’t to suggest however that he wasn’t deserving at the time.

    Forget that this tour is only two Tests, forget that it is against a lesser-known Test nation – this series is absolutely critical for Australia. Bangladesh have become anything but a minnow in international cricket in the last couple of years – mainly in the ODI circles – yet it’s only seven months ago they stung a quality English side by 108 runs in the Dhaka Test match.

    While Bangladesh have never beaten Australia in a Test match and haven’t even competed in one against them since hosting the Aussies in 2006, they will sure bring a unique challenge this time that will have Australia very cautious.

    It’s been 11 years since Australia battled the Bangladeshi outfit at test level, much remembered as the series Jason Gillespie somehow scored 200, batting for what felt like a week.

    Australian cricketer Jason Gillespie

    (AFP PHOTO/ Farjana K. GODHULY)

    Had this series not in fact gone ahead as was feared, Australia would not have had any Test cricket between the final Test in India six weeks ago in March, and the first stanza of the Ashes at the Gabba. I think this preparation – albeit still a few months out from the Ashes – cannot be undersold in it’s importance.

    It will give the Australians a much clearer picture on their playing XI, and might help answer some questions such as how many of the Marsh brothers will feature in the Ashes, both, one or none? Can Glenn Maxwell continue his blistering batting from the Indian tour and lock down the number six place for the home Ashes?

    If just one primary spinner is sufficient for the Ashes, who will it be? In a way, this short series in August will reveal a lot about how Australia lines up in a bid to regain the urn.

    Personally I felt that a few rounds of Sheffield Shield cricket would be a little on the low side for red-ball preparation, so it is a great relief to see this series actually go ahead. As is the case generally with playing in nations such as Bangladesh, security is never a sure thing, and so the series isn’t a definite yet, probably not until Australia hops on the plane; as we learned last time.

    Hell, March to August is enough of a break from Test cricket alone, I cannot imagine how March to November would have felt! Here’s to looking forward to a highly necessary, and hopefully as highly competitive series in August.

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • May 11th 2017 @ 7:58am
      qwetzen said | May 11th 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      As Ashes preparation this tour is as useful as Tony Abbott is to the Liberal Party. The only interest would be to see if Warner is ‘rested’ from it. And of course it’d be a good giggle if UK were to be selected as a non-playing tourist again.

      • May 11th 2017 @ 9:01am
        Ross said | May 11th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        Useless tour as it won’t help for the ashes at all, runs in this Tour mean nothing for our pitches against a strong England attack

        • May 11th 2017 @ 10:24am
          spruce moose said | May 11th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Think of the greater picture Ross. There’s more to cricket than just f’ing Australia and England.

      • May 11th 2017 @ 10:44am
        Timmuh said | May 11th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        Its a Test series in its own right, not a warm-up for a Test series. The important thing right now is to win the series in Bangladesh. Once that series is over, then England becomes important.

        • May 11th 2017 @ 2:24pm
          spruce moose said | May 11th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          Well said.

          • May 13th 2017 @ 5:43pm
            qwetzen said | May 13th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

            Fair go boys! It was the author who introduced the ‘preparation for the Ashes’ angle.
            “I think this preparation – albeit still a few months out from the Ashes – cannot be undersold in it’s importance.”.

            • May 14th 2017 @ 5:39pm
              Timmuh said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

              That is true, it doesn’t change that its the wrong way to look at any Test series.

    • May 11th 2017 @ 8:32am
      Ian said | May 11th 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      Bangladesh are developing a pretty decent test side and will be a tough challenge in their home conditions. Everyone talks about the Gillespie double-hundred in 2006, but the first test back then was actually rather close and the Bangladeshi’s had a serious chance to win it. They’re a much stronger side these days as well and the pitches should nullify our fast bowling strength to an extent that they will be right in the game.

      As for Australia’s side, I wouldn’t expect too mmany surprises – they’ll stick with much the same formula as India. Marsh over Khawaja was a horses for courses selection, but given that they’ll almost certainly go back to Usman for the Ashes he’ll probably play here. The other real question is the second spinner – has O’Keefe’s off-field antics put the selectors off? If so, you’d probabliy expect an Agar to play – plus they’d love the extra batting depth. They also might play three fast bowlers, but that’s unlikely given the pitches they’ll probably get.

      Warner
      Renshaw
      Khawaja
      Smith
      Handscomb
      Maxwell
      Wade
      O’Keefe/Agar
      Starc
      Hazlewood
      Lyon

      • May 11th 2017 @ 9:02am
        Ross said | May 11th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        I like this side, do you think o Keefe will get another chance after the incident, he deserves to on form but let’s see what CA does

      • Roar Guru

        May 11th 2017 @ 9:18am
        Ryan H said | May 11th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        I wouldn’t mind seeing this side Ian, especially if Agar can put some numbers together in the opening shield rounds. However with Maxwell being a second spin option already (I understand that Smith recently has used him little, if at all) maybe Australia still needs a third paceman especially in Brisbane and Perth which you’d think Cummins is first in line for.

        • May 11th 2017 @ 11:08am
          Ian said | May 11th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

          That team’s for Bangladesh, there’ll be three fast bowlers first thing in Brisbane, have absolute no doubt about that.

    • May 11th 2017 @ 10:05am
      Adrian said | May 11th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      I reckon Nathan Lyon should be able to get a double century, if Jason Gillespie could. Similar style of batsman and similar quality. Or perhaps Hazlewood could get one instead. Anything less than that, and we can say that Bangladesh have improved.

      • Columnist

        May 11th 2017 @ 12:47pm
        Glenn Mitchell said | May 11th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

        They have certainly improved Adrian. Bangladesh drew its last series, in Sri Lanka, 1-all.

        Late last year, Bangladesh drew its home series against England 1-all. The Test it lost was by just 22 runs.

        Given Australia’s recent record in Asia, this will be a challenging series.

        • Roar Guru

          May 11th 2017 @ 1:02pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | May 11th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

          Australia certainly did better in India than that same England team did. Still not a strength for Australia playing in those conditions, and there will be some challenges, but I would certainly expect Australia to win that series unless they go into it without focus and proper preparation with eyes already focused on the home ashes.

        • May 13th 2017 @ 6:00pm
          qwetzen said | May 13th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

          Sure will. I wonder what’s worse? Batting or bowling in kevlar.

          Old Smirnoff spoof: I used to think that Kevlar was a town in Sweden until I discovered Bangladesh.

    • Roar Guru

      May 11th 2017 @ 1:02pm
      Rellum said | May 11th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

      If this tour happens during the early rounds of the Shield then it will be a terrible bit of scheduling which again would show the lack of regard for the domestic game.

      I am not against touring Bangladesh at all and if it happens in Sept before the Shield starts or even on the way to England even then we both show respect to Bangladesh as well as our own domestic comp. I would love to see us tour there and grow the game.

      • Columnist

        May 11th 2017 @ 1:31pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | May 11th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

        Rellum the Bangladesh tour as it stands is scheduled to be finished more than a month before the Sheffield Shield starts on October 25.

        • Roar Guru

          May 11th 2017 @ 3:16pm
          Rellum said | May 11th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

          Good to hear. I did a quick search but saw no definite dates.

          Does that eat into the One day comp?

          Not that I am a fan of the current one day comp and would rather it go back to a proper home and away comp with a final that goes over most of the season, even if it was just to actually get a form read on players on day form.

          • Columnist

            May 11th 2017 @ 6:41pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | May 11th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

            No it looks like the Bangladesh tour will be finished by mid-September with the Matador Cup then starting on Oct 1.

            • Roar Guru

              May 11th 2017 @ 6:48pm
              Rellum said | May 11th 2017 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

              So the big question is then do the international players play in the BBQ cup and the first few Shield rounds?

              • Columnist

                May 11th 2017 @ 9:24pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | May 11th 2017 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

                Rellum now that I think about it the major interruption in Australia’s Ashes preparation will not be the Bangladesh tour but the proposed ODI tour of India in October.

                Australia won’t be able to send a second XI like they do sometimes with overseas white ball series because India won’t accept a no-name Aussie XI.

                India would be livid if Australia rested their key Test players – Smith, Warner, Starc and Hazlewood. Australia will probably try to rest the quicks and play Smith and Warner to appease the BCCI.

              • Roar Guru

                May 12th 2017 @ 7:26pm
                Rellum said | May 12th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                What???

                Is that series going ahead? The Aus cricket website does not list it nor does cricketinfo.

                That would be a horror piece of scheduling that would show no respect to our domestic comps for no reason. At least if they went to Bangladesh in Oct they would be growing the game, but India, again?

              • May 14th 2017 @ 8:34am
                Nudge said | May 14th 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

                Same thing happened before the last home ashes series which Australia won 5 zip. Not that I’m defending the scheduling

              • May 14th 2017 @ 5:42pm
                Timmuh said | May 14th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                Rellum, yes, India again.
                We didn’t play the ODIs and T20Is that normally go along with a Test series, this will be the make-up tour for that. The timing is somewhat unfortunate. Split tours seem to be a thing in India now, where the Tests are played separately to the limited overs forms. This is a waste just before a Test series, and Shield would be a better preparation.

    • May 11th 2017 @ 1:21pm
      Sameen said | May 11th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

      I think this tour will be quite challenging for Australia as at home Bangladesh are a formidable team. Khwaja must be selected instead S Marsh and backup batsman can be Cartwright.keefe deserves another go so agar can be backup spinner. For fast bowling all big 4 can be selected.If there is India tour for limited overs then Smith can be rested plus the bowlers.want to give Warner a rest too but he hasn’t played a ODi in India(last series was also rested). Batting will look like: S Marsh(he can become cruical member in odis);Finch;head;Lynn(if fit);max; Cartwright; henriques; Turner (can be tried in slow Indian pitches);wade(c);zampa;agar/Swepson;ncn; behrendroff (although giving a debut in India can be cruel but he will gain a nice experience);K Richardson (did nothing wrong and was dropped from odis last season);Paris(if fit);stanlake;and one out of Jhye Richardson and Tremain can be considered.

      • May 11th 2017 @ 2:26pm
        spruce moose said | May 11th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

        Give Warner a rest?

        Why?

        • May 11th 2017 @ 5:50pm
          Sameen said | May 11th 2017 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

          He is also playing non stop this year want to fresh him before Ashes.

          • Roar Guru

            May 11th 2017 @ 6:09pm
            Rellum said | May 11th 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

            A IPL game every four days for the last 6 weeks is basically a rest for him.

        • May 11th 2017 @ 7:27pm
          Timmuh said | May 11th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

          Because he can’t score a FC run on low slow tracks?

          I think he still has to go to Bangladesh, but only by default. If there were any credible alternatives, he’d be dumped (and CA would call it rested – but you should never rest a player from Tests).

        • May 13th 2017 @ 5:56pm
          qwetzen said | May 13th 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

          This is a Dorothy Dixer right?

          How can you justify selecting a batsman who averages 25 after 22 innings in the region?

    • May 11th 2017 @ 1:29pm
      matth said | May 11th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

      We must be very careful not to take Bangladesh lightly. They are an improving side and their core has been together for a few years now. In home conditions they also have the world’s premier all rounder. I hope we have scheduled a warm up or two or taken up our Dubai option again.

      Having said that, there might be some limited options for experimentation. We should persevere with Maxwell at 6 and this might be the chance to give him some bowling overs. I would love to see a Wade alternative trialled, but to be fair he did ok in India. And I would leave Stephen O’Keefe out and try either of the back ups from India, Agar or Swepson.

      • May 11th 2017 @ 8:08pm
        BurgyGreen said | May 11th 2017 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

        I agree. A hastily-arranged away series in Asia against a greatly-improved host while we’re preoccupied by an upcoming Ashes series is a recipe for an ambush. It’s crucial that we play our best XI and that their heads are in the game.

        • May 14th 2017 @ 6:16am
          qwetzen said | May 14th 2017 @ 6:16am | ! Report

          BG said: “It’s crucial that we play our best XI and that their heads are in the game.”

          There’s now a distinct possibility that an inferior Oz side may go due to CA’s Board of Control like stance over the new MoU. CA/Sutherland have gone mad on this issue. The existing model has been in place for 20 years, it’s working, CA is financially healthy and CA haven’t actually given *any* reason why the players status should change from partners to employees. Everyone should be 100% with the players on this, even if it means no cricket.

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