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Confident Tigers, under pressure Aussies brace for Chittagong Test

  • Published at 03:01 pm September 3rd, 2017
Confident Tigers, under pressure Aussies brace for Chittagong Test
Bangladesh are all set to play their second and final Test match against under pressure Australia at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, starting on Monday. The host are 1-0 up after achieving a memorable victory against Australia in the first Test by 20 runs in Dhaka last week. Now there is a glorious chance for Bangladesh to make it 2-0 against a higher-ranked team like Australia. Before winning the Mirpur Test, Bangladesh had also won their 100th Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo. So this is the first time in Test history Bangladesh are on the verge of winning three consecutive Tests after achieving Test status in 2000.

Also read: Bangladesh-Australia second Test tickets go on sale

But Australia are more aware of the opposition this time around and preparing themselves for another spin barrage against the host. Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim informed that they have to start from square one again as Australia are dangerous as a side and can turn around anytime on any given day. Generally Australia declare their squad a day before a Test but this time, the visiting side are more cautious and captain Steve Smith will only announce the final XI after analysing the pitch. However, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiq termed this a cautious approach and a moral victory for the Tigers. “Australia have not declared their playing XI, which usually they do. That’s a moral victory for us (smiles). Maybe they are under pressure. But that does not mean they will crumble under pressure. They are a quality side and very professional. They know what to do to turn around from this situation," Mushfiq told the media on the eve of the Chittagong Test.

Also read: Bangladesh announce unchanged squad for second Australia Test

"And we have to start well in the second Test. We overcame quite a few pressure moments during the first Test. We have to do it again, like turning around from 10/3 in our first innings," he said. Team combination is an important issue as Bangladesh played two pacers in the first Test. And in the second innings, Shafiul Islam did not bowl a single over while Mustafizur Rahman bowled only one over. So there is every likelihood that Bangladesh might go for one pacer and bring one more batsman in the starting XI. The pitch in Chittagong could turn out to be another turning deck. “We have specific plans. We have 14 players who are fit and fresh. We can take three pacers or four spinners or could go for an extra batsman. This decision will be taken according to the condition of the pitch. We will decide in the last moment after seeing the pitch.

Also read: Attack more captain, attack more!

On the other hand, Australia are under pressure as they are on the verge of sliding further in the Test ranking if they lose the series. Their prime paceman Josh Hazlewood got injured during the first Test and spinner Steve O’Keefe replaced him. But will Australia opt for three specialist spinners on Monday? This is the burning question right now. The last time Australia played three spinners in a Test was against Bangladesh in Chittagong during their second Test of the 2006 tour. "Yeah there's always pressure in international cricket, no matter what the scoreline is. We're down 1-0 in this series and we need to win this Test to level the series. We've got to come out and play a lot better than we did last week. Bangladesh will be full of confidence after the way they played last week. We're going to have to play a lot better than we did last week,” Smith told the media at ZACS on Sunday. Weather is a big concern as forecasts suggest rain in the port city in the upcoming days. But ZACS has a very good drainage system, just like Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, so fans can expect an exciting Test ahead.
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