Australia vs Bangladesh in the ICC World Cup 2019 on June 20 (Thursday) will be broadcast on the Star Sports network and Live streaming will be available on Hotstar. The match will be played in Nottingham and will begin at 1500 HRS IST. You can also follow all the action on our live blog. (AUS v BAN).
Up until a few years back, an Australia v Bangladesh contest would have been termed a mismatch, a David v Goliath contest where the odds of David winning was minuscule at best. But a lot has changed over the past few years. Bangladesh are no longer the pushovers they used to be, coming into a contest to win hearts, and nothing more.
They started off their 2019 campaign with a solid win over South Africa, gave New Zealand a mighty scare defending only 244, lost to England and then chased down 321 against West Indies by seven wickets with as many as 51 balls to spare.
One of the biggest reasons behind Bangladesh's success so far this tournament has been the form of their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. He is the leading run scorer in the campaign with 384 runs in four innings and has also picked up five wickets at a good economy. While Shakib is undoubtedly the best player that Bangladesh has ever produced, to bring out performances with such consistency has surprised even his most ardent fans.
Having said that Australia are going to be a different kettle of fish for the Tigers. There is a reason why the head to head count in ODIs is 18:1 loaded in the favour of Australia. They have been meticulous so far in the competition with the only blip being against India. With four wins and one loss after five games, Australia are placed second on the points table and a win at Nottingham, in Trent Bridge will take them to the top of the pile and make their route to the semi-finals much easier.
The encouraging bit of news for them before the Bangladesh game is that Marcus Stoinis seems to have fully recovered after being on the sidelines for the last two weeks with a side strain. There is a fitness test that he still will have to go through but two days out from the clash, the all-rounder seemed to be in no trouble whatsoever be it batting or bowling. Australia Head coach Justin Langer too concurred with the above statement.
"We've been monitoring him," said the coach. "He's an elite athlete, he's an elite professional.
"He's determined, so it doesn't surprise me with where he's at now. It's a credit to him, it's a credit to the medical staff that are getting him up. So hopefully he can have a real impact on the tournament."
Nathan Coulter-Nile who had to miss the previous encounter against Sri Lanka due to soreness, too is available for selection against Bangladesh.
Stoinis' availability is more crucial as it helps Australia drop one of the four seamers from the side and include one of Adam Zampa or Nathan Lyon in the mix.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, will have to tighten their bowling against a rampant Australia top order. None of the bowlers so far have looked threatening for a period of time and the kind of form the likes of David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith have been, the Bangladeshis will have to maintain a strict channel else they will travel the distance.
Their batsmen though have been in good touch and will hope to continue their run against the Australian pacers.
This will be fifth and final game in Trent Bridge and the surface is looking a bit dry and expected to turn on first glance. There are a few thunderstorms predicted in Nottingham on Thursday but the game should largely remain unaffected by the rain.
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