2nd Test Cricket Preview – Bangladesh v Australia
Monday September 04, 2pm AEST – Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
The expected rain never arrived in the first match, neither did the implosion that Bangladesh has perfected over the years and in the end, Australia ended up finishing agonizingly short of what would have been a memorable test victory. Can Australia regroup ahead of the second test or will they be blanked out by Bangladesh?[/su_table]
There are certain expectations that come with being an Australia cricket team and one of those has been the certainty of victory against Bangladesh no matter what the conditions are. In a sign of how much cricket has changed, the defeat to Bangladesh in the first test is not being seen as an upset but as something likely to be repeated in the second test.
The Wolf thinks Australia played an excellent test with David Warner playing one of the finest second inning hundreds in recent memory on a pitch that was spitting cobras. The result could easily have been different has Australia won the toss and batted first.
This is something the team must recognize and avoid wholesale changes.
Josh Hazelwood has been injured will likely be replaced by O’Keefe as Australia plays three spinners. Mathew Wade run of poor form may force Australia to give the wicketkeeping duties to Peter Handscomb and possibly add Hilton Cartwright as another all round option.
Only David Warner scored a score of above 50 in this match but the Wolf would once again advise backing Matt Renshaw as the top scorer for Australia. Renshaw played 114 deliveries in the entire match and showed excellent technique before getting out on both occasions.
He will also be facing up to the new ball when run scoring is potentially the easiest.
Lyon ended up picking 6 second wicket innings and 9 in total for the match. He was very impressive but lacked support from the other end. Agar showed inexperience by flighting the ball on a pitch where he should have been firing it in. The Wolf is backing Steve O’Keefe to make a comeback into this match and complete his redemption by being the top wicket taker.
Australia will have to do something special to be able to win this series otherwise a 2-0 scoreline and a slide to 6th in Test rankings looks to be on the cards.
There is tremendous confidence and belief in this Bangladeshi side that has now won its last two matches at home against England and Australia. The star of their first ever test victory against the Aussies in the last game was Shakib Al Hasan, currently, the top ranked all-rounder in the world.
He took 10 wickets in the match, scored 84 runs in the first innings and was the difference between defeat and victory for Bangladesh. Tamim Iqbal also had a good game with valuable contributions in both innings as was Mehedi Hasan.
A few stats jump from the last match. Shakib took 10 wickets, Mehedi Hasan took 5, Taijul 4 to leave the two pacers completely redundant. The Wolf expects for at least one of them to make way for an additional batsman in this match.
Tamim Iqbal scored 149 runs in the match, more than any other batsman in both sides and faced almost twice the amount of deliveries than the next most. In a game where survival was difficult, those are some impressive numbers.
The Wolf has no hesitation in backing Tamim Iqbal as the top batsman and Shakib Al Hasan as the top bowler once again for this match because no one else in that side even comes close to providing that kind of quality.
Bangladesh is riding high on confidence and will be a tough nut to crack but take a couple of stellar performances away and they remain a very much a beatable side at home.
Pitch and Conditions
There was talk about how the pitch at Chittagong might favor the fast bowlers somewhat. That honestly made the Wolf crack up with laughter because hell might freeze over before Bangladesh gives the Aussies a seaming track to play on.
It will be another low, crumbling pitch that turns square from the end of the first day or the last session of the second one.
Bangladesh at $3.70 is just too attractive to resist especially when form and conditions favor them so strongly. If Australia wins the toss and bats first though the Wolf recommends hedging your bets through in-play betting.