The runs should flow aplenty Thursday when Australia and Bangladesh face off in match 26 of the World Cup at Trent Bridge, a venue that holds the highest first innings ODI score average (252) for any UK ground (min ten matches).
Australia enter the contest holding a 4-1 record for the tournament and not only would a win see them as the first nation to reach ten points in the table, but it would all but lock in their semi-final berth with three matches still to go.
What a turnaround in form Aaron Finch has enjoyed in the last six months. From almost having his international career put into retirement, to averaging 88.22 in his last 12 ODI at-bats.
When you also add Steve Smith’s recent average of 70.55 from his past 12 innings (including warm up and practice matches), it provides for scary reading for the Bangladesh bowling attack which has just one bowler (Mustafizur Rahman) ranked in the top 18 in the ICC rankings.
If the likes of David Warner, Usman Khawaja, and Shaun Marsh can also get amongst the runs not just in this match but for the rest of the tournament, a fifth World Cup trophy could very well be heading down under.
Three wins from their last four matches, that is the equation facing the ‘Tigers’ if they want to play in the semifinals next month. But if their efforts on Monday against the West Indies (seven-wicket win) are anything to go by, they might just fancy their chances of winning all four.
Despite a 1-18 record against the Aussies (including 14 losses in a row), the most recent defeat was actually back in 2011, with just five members of the current squad available for this game. Of those five, Mahmudullah enjoyed a not out 68 in that game, Tamim Iqbal scored 32 and Mashrafe Mortaza took a ‘three fa’, not bad positives to take into this important fixture.
Probable Playing XI
David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman.
AUS vs BAN – Players to watch out for
Mitchell Starc (AUS) is one of just four players in H2H history to collect a four-wicket haul.
Play on ProSports11 fantasy cricket platform and win mega cash rewards.
His duel against Shakib Al Hasan (Bang) looms as match defining. While Al Hasan is in fine touch (124 not out last at-bat), his average of just 22.00 against the Aussies is his second worse against 16 overall opponents.
Australia have won 44 of their last 48 World Cup matches. Mustafizur Rahman’s average of 24.20 with the ball against Australia is his best against any opponent.
Usman Khawaja has batted twice against Bangladesh for a total of two runs. Bangladesh are 0-2 at Trent Bridge (168-run loss and a six-wicket defeat).