Bangladesh vs Australia: Second Test preview and prediction

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    Bangladesh may have recorded their first ever victory over Australia, but the Tigers will look to make it a series victory when the teams move to Chittagong for the second and final Test.

    For Bangladesh, it’s their third victory in the last 12 months, having beaten England and Sri Lanka in Test matches. It’s hard to say Australia took them too lightly in Mirpur, but there should be a renewed focus and energy in Chittagong.

    While many who have followed the trials and tribulations of the Tigers over the last year expected them to win or at the very least draw a match during this series, the prospect of them winning both hasn’t been entertained.

    Frankly, that would be embarrassing for Australia. The way things went in Mirpur though, and now with an injury to Josh Hazlewood, you wonder if the tourists have it in them to get the series level.

    It’s not bowling at the heart of the Australian issue. Runs were hard to come by in Mirpur, and that was proven, with only a David Warner century getting them close.

    It looked like Australia were going to take the upper hand early, with Patrick Cummins running through the hosts’ top order to have the score reading a dreadful 3 for 10. He failed to get rid of Tamim Iqbal (71) though, who then joined with Shakib Al Hasan (84) in an enormous fourth wicket stand.

    Pat Cummins Cricket Australia 2017

    (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

    They put on 155, taking Bangladesh from a position of desperation to one where they were ahead. The tail then got more runs than expected, the Tigers making 260 in their first dig.

    Nathan Lyon bowled well without luck, while Glenn Maxwell provided a key breakthrough. Ashton Agar struggled for control with the ball, while the quicks provided nothing after Cummins’ opening spell – and don’t be surprised if that continues on what is expected to be a spinning Chittagong wicket.

    Agar might have struggled with the ball in the first innings, despite picking up tail-end wickets, but he didn’t with the bat, helping to rescue Australia from a perilous position.

    They slumped to 3 for 18 at stumps, with Shakib (5/68) and Mehedi Hasan (3/62) spinning a web. David Warner, Usman Khawaja and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon were all back in the sheds before anyone knew what hit them, with Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith holding to stumps.

    It didn’t improve on Day 2, with Smith dismissed early, before Peter Handscomb (33) and Matt Renshaw (45) put on 69 for the fifth wicket. With Ashton Agar scoring 41 and Pat Cummins 25, Australia batted deep into the second day, eventually all out for 217, leaving a deficit of 43.

    Australia struggled to pick up early wickets in the Tigers’ second innings, Tamim again leading from the front and top scoring with 78. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim settled things in the middle order with 41, before Sabbir Rahman (22) and Mehedi Hasan (26) added some valuable lower order runs.

    Nathan Lyon picked up figures of 6 for 82, but he was fighting a losing battle as Australia conceded too many runs, being set 265 for victory.

    Despite a Warner century, Australia eventually fell 20 runs short of the target despite some tail resistance, with Cummins scoring 33 not out. Their top order simply didn’t provide the weight of runs it needed to in either innings, Khawaja making two runs for the Test match and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade not doing much better.

    There is no doubting Bangladesh were the better team. They still have their issues heading into the second Test, but Steve’s Smith’s Aussies have issues which are greater by a significant amount.

    The first of those is replacing Josh Hazlewood, then working out how they combat spin. The top order spent much of time playing for spin, and it was no surprise to see batsmen falling time and time again to balls which slid on.

    While the training tactic of batting with one pad on might have worked to an extent, nothing will ever work if you’re off the line of the ball, and that’s where players like Khawaja and Wade spent a majority of the first Test.

    History

    The full match-by-match list
    September 27 – 30, 2017 – Bangladesh won by 20 runs in Mirpur
    April 16-20, 2006 – Australia won by an innings and 80 runs in Chittagong
    April 9-13, 2006 – Australia won by 3 wickets in Fattulah
    July 25-28, 2003 – Australia won by an innings and 98 runs in Cairns
    July 18-20, 2003 – Australia won by an innings and 132 runs in Darwin

    Series history
    2006 – Australia defeat Bangladesh 2-0 in Bangladesh
    2003 – Australia defeat Bangladesh 2-0 in Australia

    Australia to play three spinners… Wait, what?
    When Josh Hazlewood was ruled out for the remainder of the series, the expectation was a replacement who was either like-for-like, or a batsmen given Australia are light on depth in that department.

    There are no reserve batsmen in the squad, while it’s clear if a second paceman was going it play, it was the already included Jack Bird.

    With Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon bowling well enough to retain their spots and Glenn Maxwell doing very little wrong, it appeared the obvious choice was a batsman, with Khawaja likely to be dropped for the final Test.

    Instead, the selectors called up Stephen O’Keefe, who was controversially left out in the first place. His performances in India were reasonable and although it was never acknowledged by the selectors, it was bleedingly obvious his off-field discretions had plenty to do with him being left out of the original touring party.

    What is clear, is O’Keefe hasn’t been called up to sit on the sidelines for five days.

    He will play, and it’s more than likely going to be a straight swap for Hazlewood, meaning Australia will play three spinners for the first time in 40 years.

    It’s probably the right option, but it will mean that with Maxwell, there are four on the field. It also means room must be found for Hilton Cartwright, who is technically sound with the bat as well. You’d hardly be losing anything by dropping Khawaja, whose cards should be marked never to play in Asia again.

    Cartwright to bat at three as the second pace option allows Australia to play three front-line spinners like Bangladesh do, and if it works, it’ll be their way back in Chittagong.

    Ashton Agar vs Bangladesh

    (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    Bangladesh have issues, but why change a winning formula?
    There is no reason for Bangladesh to make changes to their XI ahead of the second Test. They won in Dhaka, and while there are issues – most notably their top order batting and fielding – there are no reasons to make a change.

    Their bowling was solid, but without Tamim, Shakib and Mushfqiur’s big innings, it’s difficult to say the Tigers would have won the first Test. Their top order collapsed in a heap on Day 1 and was only marginally better on Day 3 thanks to Soumya Sarkar’s 15.

    It’s become painfully clear that Soumya probably isn’t an opener, and that Imrul Kayes should be there. Shabbir Rahaman, despite scoring 22 in the second innings has also had his spot under fire.

    Nasir Hossain, who bowled four overs and scored 18 runs for the match is under pressure. While changes could be made, the selectors must ask themselves two questions.

    Firstly, should we upset the stability of the team and secondly, are the changes going to get us anywhere? The other options in the squad are led by Mominul Haque and Mossadek Hossain, both of whom were in my XI for the first Test, but after winning, there’s no point changing it back.

    Keep the stability. Keep the confidence. It’ll be half the way to winning.

    Shakib would make any Test side around the world – he is the best all-rounder in cricket
    For those who haven’t followed the Tigers rise through the cricketing world, you may have watched Shakib for the first time in Mirpur.

    He is the best all-rounder in world cricket, bar none. Ben Stokes can’t hold a candle to him, and neither can any of Australia’s all-rounders.

    The 30-year-old has just become the second player in Test history to take ten wickets and score a half century in the same match twice, with only Richard Hadlee doing it three times. Furthermore, He has taken a five-wicket haul against every Test playing nation.

    Playing on the sub-continent for most of his career, he has an astounding batting average of 40 to go with 186 wickets at 32. Remember, he is playing in a side who have struggled for the last decade, having made his Test debut in 2007.

    He would make every Test team around the world in any conditions. Shakib is the greatest all-rounder cricket, and if Australia can’t find a way to control him with both bat and ball in the second Test, he’ll take the Tigers a long way towards victory.

    Bangladesh cricket

    (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    Steve Smith needs to make more runs, so would batting at three help?
    Smith would be the first to admit his scores of 8 and 37 in the first Test weren’t good enough – nor were the ways he got out. Charging down the wicket with Australia at 4 for 40 and being bowled by Mehedi in the first innings was terrible.

    There’s no question Smith is the tourists’ best player of spin, but it’s no good if he is sitting in the dressing rooms.

    Batting at four, he came in after early wickets in both innings under all sorts of pressure. While he can handle the pressure normally, the best batsman in any cricket team should be batting at three. In Australian conditions, it doesn’t matter so much, but Smith should be batting at three in the sub-continent.

    I strongly doubt it will happen, but with Hilton Cartwright coming into the side and being unproven in these conditions, he should be shuffled down to five with Smith at three and Handscomb at four.

    Smith is the key to success for Australia, no matter how much Warner convinces you he is. Smith is the one with the technique and the ability to grind all day long and must bat at three.

    Tamim must lead from the front again, but he needs more support
    As we have already highlighted, Bangladesh had problems in their top order during the first Test of the series. They crumbled to 3 for 10 in the first innings, and it could have been disastrous.

    Faifth in those around Tamim should be paid and while it’s clear he is their best batsman and will need to lead from the front, he can’t do it all on his own and does need suport.

    While Rahim and Shakib both played well in the first Test with some lower order contributions ensuring Bangadesh had enough runs to win the match, there’s no question they need a stronger start to their innings.

    The tourists’ will be better for the run in Chittagong, and if Bangladesh crumble at the top again, especially with an extra spinning option, there may be no recovery.

    Tamim Iqbal vs Australia

    (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)

    David Warner scored a century, but he has to do it again, and in the first innings
    First innings runs are crucial on the sub-continent. Even with what we have just said about the pitch, the pressure of chasing a score or playing from behind in the third innings is enormous in spinning conditions.

    David Warner didn’t show any signs of pressure when he racked up a century in the second innings, but one of the keys to Australia drawing this series is him making runs in the first innings.

    Getting off to a good start and taking the match away from Bangladesh and their fans (who are fantastic) is crucial. Seizing momentum of the match from the word go takes a side a long way to winning, and Warner scoring runs in the first innings is the way to do that.

    He had problems against spin, sure, but he showed in the second innings he has the technique to deal with it. There are no excuses in the second Test for Warner. Runs in the first innings is a priority.

    David Warner celebrates his second century in Adelaide

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Bangladesh vs Australia: First Test key information

    First ball: 2pm (AEST) – 10am (local)
    Venue: Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
    TV: Live, Fox Sports
    Online: Live, Foxtel app and Foxtel now
    Betting: Australia $1.91, Bangladesh $3.60, drawn $4
    Overall record: Played 5, Australia 4, Bangladesh 1
    Umpires: Nigel Llong and Ian Gould (on-field), Aleem Dar (3rd umpire)
    Odds correct as at 5pm (AEST), Friday September 1

    Squads

    Australia (likely XI and reserves)
    1. David Warner (vc)
    2. Matt Renshaw
    3. Hilton Cartwright
    4. Steve Smith (c)
    5. Peter Handscomb
    6. Glenn Maxwell
    7. Matthew Wade (wk)
    8. Ashton Agar
    9. Steve O’Keefe
    10. Patrick Cummins
    11. Nathan Lyon
    Reserves – Jackson Bird, Mitchell Swepson, Hilton Cartwright

    Bangladesh (likely XI and reserves)
    1. Tamim Iqbal
    2. Souyma Sarkar
    3. Imrul Kayes
    4. Shabbir Rahaman
    5. Shakib Al Hasan
    6. Mushfiqur Rahim (c/wk)
    7. Nasir Hossain
    8. Mehedi Hasan
    9. Taijul Islam
    10. Shafiul Islam
    11. Mustafizur Rahman
    Reserves: Liton Das, Mossaedk Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mominul Haque

    Hours of play

    Session Start (AEST) Finish (AEST) Start (local) Finish (local) Duration
    Morning session 2:00 PM 4:00 PM 10:00 AM 12:00 PM 2 hours
    Lunch 4:00 PM 4:40 PM 12:00 PM 12:40 PM 40 minutes
    Afternoon session 4:40 PM 6:40 PM 12:40 PM 2:40 PM 2 hours
    Tea 6:40 PM 7:00 PM 2:40 PM 3:00 PM 20 minutes
    Evening session 7:00 PM 9:00 PM 3:00 PM 5:00 PM 2 hours

    Match starts Monday, September 4

    Prediction

    This is going to be another intriguing Test. I always thought Bangladesh would win one match on this tour, and they have done that now.

    The question of whether they can go and do it again is a difficult one. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is ordinary again, but it was in Mirpur and we barely got interrupted.

    The Tigers spin bowlers are fantastic, and again the pressure on Shakib, Mushfiqur, Mehedi and Tamim will be enormous. If they can find a way to live up to their expectation, then it’s difficult to see Australia winning.

    If the tourists’, however, can deal with those players and stand up themselves, particularly with the bat, then they win. I think they will as well. Australia shouldn’t lose a Test series 2-0 to Bangladesh at this stage of their development, even in these conditions.

    Australia in another thriller.

    Don’t forget The Roar will have a live blog of each and every day played by the Australian national team, as well as highlights throughout the match.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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