Bangladesh will look to keep their semifinal hopes on track with a win against Australia at Trent Bridge, as the Aussiess look to ensure a top four finish with maximum points from the game.
When you try to look at Bangladesh vs Australia in the recent ICC events, one question will surely arise, will there be a game? In 2015, a cyclone washed out the match as that one point proved invaluable for Bangladesh as they went on to reach the quarter finals. In 2017, Australia were marching towards victory before rain came in and the game was abandoned. Again one point for Bangladesh, and again that point helped them reach the semifinals of the Champions Trophy. But this time, Bangladesh will be hoping for a full game as they look to beat Australia for the first time after 2005.
The win against Australia in 2005 was a major upset for the cricketing world as nobody expected David to beat Goliath with that much panache. But 14 years on, only three days after the 14th anniversary of that historical triumph, a Bangladesh win would not be an upset, let alone a major one.
Bangladesh have looked the best side outside the top four and their position on the points table also suggests so. Bangladesh might rue their washed out game against Sri Lanka and Mushfiqur Rahim’s costly mistake in their game against New Zealand, but they have been dominant in both their wins. They outclassed South Africa in their opening game and then brushed away West Indies in their last victory, as they chased down a target of 322 with 51 balls to spare. Their global superstar, Shakib al Hasan looks in prime touch as he sits on top of the top run-scorers list with 384 runs. Bangladesh will most probably be without their leading wicket-taker in this tournament, Saifuddin, who is injured, and Rubel Hossain is likely to be his replacement.
Australia on the other hand, will look for another win to ensure their semifinal spot as ten points look to be adequate for finishing in the top four. Australia’s batting at the end has looked a bit shaky, especially their middle order, who have failed to take advantage of the solid foundation they got from their top order. With Marcus Stoinis out, they had a problem finding ten overs from Maxwell, Finch and Smith, as the part-timers went for runs. But Stoinis is likely to return in place of Shaun Marsh, who to be honest, had no impact in both the games he played. Skipper Aaron Finch has been in top form as he sits third on the highest run-scorers list, only behind Shakib and Joe Root with 343 runs. Mitchell Starc also looks in fine feathers as he is the joint top wicket-taker alongside Mohammad Amir, with 13 wickets in his bag.
A win here for Bangladesh would mean that the Tigers will only need two more wins from their last three games, whereas a defeat would make each of their last games a do-or-die affair. On the other hand, Australia looked lucky as they beat Pakistan and West Indies, and if they fail to win against Bangladesh, there will be questions about their ability to win a match against quality batting, with matches against England and New Zealand looming.
Bangladesh are likely to be without Saifuddin, their leading wicket-taker in this tournament, who got injured in practise. Rubel Hossain is the likely replacement as he will bring in pace and reverse swing to the Bangladeshi bowling lineup.
Probable Lineup - 1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3. Shakib al Hasan, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5. Liton Das, 6. Mahmudullah Riyad, 7. Mosaddek Hossain, 8. Mehidy Hasan, 9. Mashrafe Mortaza ©, 10. Rubel Hossain, 11. Mustafizur Rahman
As Marcus Stoinis is fit again, he is surely to come in to provide Australia with the balance they lacked in their last two games, with Shaun Marsh likely to make way for him. Adam Zampa is also likely to be brought in to take advantage of Bangladeshi batsmen’s discomfort against Leg spinners. Other changes are unlikely, unless Australia decide to bring in Nathan Lyon to attack the Bangladesh left-handers at the top of the order.
Probable Lineup - 1. Aaron Finch ©, 2. David Warner, 3. Steve Smith, 4. Usman Khawaja, 5. Glen Maxwell, 6. Alex Carey (wk), 7. Marcus Stoinis, 8. Pat Cummins, 9. MItchell Starc, 10. Adam Zampa, 11. Jason Behrendorff
Pitch and Conditions
The Trent Bridge pitch is likely to produce runs, and with a shorter boundary at one side, it should be pretty easy for the batsmen to score. There will be very little in offer for the bowlers, as they’ll have to use full use of their skills to pick wickets.
The weather forecast predicts a little rain in the morning, but it should brighten up in the later parts of the day. That is a good sign, and the fans should keep their fingers crossed.