Australia will have their task cut out as they aim to get their 2016 T20 World Cup campaign back on track when they take on Bangladesh at Bangalore on Monday, 21 March.
Group 2 of the “Super 10” stage has lived up to its potential of the “Group of Death” as New Zealand has upset India and Australia in consecutive matches to storm to the top of the group. Bangladesh started with a loss to Pakistan which means this is an extremely important match for both teams at Bangalore.
The Kangaroos were not bamboozled by the Kiwis but they were second-best in all departments. Usman Khawaja continued his good form at the top of the order while all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh tried to rally the middle order. The failure of Steve Smith and David Warner put the brakes on the scoring which eventually choked them at the death.
Maxwell had a good outing with the ball too while Adam Zampa was strangely just used for only one over. The experiment of using Ashton Agar may end, with the Aussies missing the stability of someone like John Hastings with the ball. But it is the batsmen who will have to pull their socks up for a better result.
Bangladesh qualified for the Super 10’s with impressive play in the qualification stage of the T20 World Cup but came unstuck against Pakistan thanks to some Afridi magic. The collective failure hampered their run rate too which means they have to rely on winning all their remaining matches to entertain any semi-final thoughts.
The recent success of the Tigers was due to the emergence of raw pace of Taskin Ahmed who has now been banned from bowling due to a suspect action and will be dearly missed. With Arafat Sunny banned too for the same reason, Bangladesh will face Australia without their two best bowlers which is horrible timing.
It will be a direct contest of Australian all-rounders against the Bangladeshi spinners. The struggles of the Aussies against spinners may prompt Mashrafe Mortaza to attack more with his tweakers. There is not much value on an Australian win while it may be too risky to think of a Bangladesh victory, but if you want to play a little aggressive, take a punt on Bangladesh to win at odds of $4.70 at Sportsbet.
Smith will be itching to improve his team’s prospects and want his bat to do the talking. His runs will be vital for the Aussies, so back him at odds of $4.50 at William Hill to be their best batsman. Tamim Iqbal looks to be the best bet for Bangladesh at odds of $3.50 at William Hill.
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