POST TIME: 20 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Tigers await Kangaroos today
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Tigers await Kangaroos today

Tigers’ Head Coach Steve Rhodes (left) joins his boys to share light moments during their pre-match training session ahead of their game against Australia at Trent Bridge in Nottingham today. BCB Photo

Following a record-setting victory against the mighty West Indies, Bangladesh are going to play another important match against defending champions Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 today. The match, the sixth fixture for both teams, will be played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham at 3:30pm Bangladesh Standard Time.

Currently, Bangladesh are fifth on the 10-team standings with five points from five outings. Australia is placed second with eight points from identical outings, just below table-toppers England, who also chalked up eight points from five matches but are on top due to a better net run rate.

This is a crunch match for Bangladesh. The importance of this fixture has increased for them after they had to share points with Sri Lanka in the fourth match due to showers following a shocking drubbing in the second tie against New Zealand.

Australia are among one of those teams against which Bangladesh do not have any winning record in previous world cups. New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies were also in that unbeaten list. But this time the Tigers trounced the Caribbean side in the high-scoring thriller.

Bangladesh have no track record against Australia—the only Test-playing nation against whom the Tigers have so far won only one match in their one-day international cricket accounts. They had trumped them over a decade ago in 2005, in Cardiff, a venue that is one of the nine hosting venues of the ongoing extravaganza in the United Kingdom (UK). In that encounter, Bangladesh had thrashed Australia, who were studded with solid star players like Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mathew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie.

At that time, the victory was touted as one of the biggest upsets in ODI cricket history. But there is a gulf of difference between that Australia team, one of the all-time great teams in the hostory of cricket, and the current lot.

This time, it is obviously possible to beat them. And, if Bangladesh can do that, no one will call it an upset because of their jaw-dropping performance in this edition of the world cup. They embarked on their mission by flattening high-ranked South Africa before their mind-blowing victory against the West Indies.

The clinical victory against the Caribbean side will obviously keep Bangladesh players mentally and physically boosted against Australia. But it will not altogether be a pushover. For that, they will have to play a better brand of cricket than what they had showcased at Taunton on June 17 against West Indies.

After winning the match against the Windies, Bangladesh vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan said that they were not afraid of Australia’s much-vaunted pace battery.

He also said they were ready to face the stiff challenge posed by Australia’s pace line-up formed by Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendroff. “We have faced some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches, where each team had at least two bowlers who could bowl at 140 kph. So, we are not worried about that,” he added.

“Now we are a skilled team and capable of countering those challenges of the quicks,” Shakib told the media.

He, however, said that they would have to play a better brand of cricket to rout Australia. “We have to unleash our ‘A’ game against Australia when we take them on. Only then will it be possible to beat them,” he said.