Time: August 6, 5:30 PM IST
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
There have been only 8 sixes in the series so far – 3 from Australia and 5 from Bangladesh. Hitting anything across on this wicket has become an impossible task. Batting has been so challenging that a total of 29 wickets have fallen in four innings.
Pick batters who can find gaps and pacers who have off-cutters in their armoury.
Probable XI for Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah (c), Nurul Hasan (wk), Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed
Probable XI for Australia: Alex Carey, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Marsh, Moises Henriques, Matthew Wade (c & wk), Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
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Players to watch out for
Mitchell Marsh’s scores at No. 3 read 51, 54, 9, 75, 30, 45, and 45. Australia may have been struggling to win, but Marsh’s consistency has made fantasy players’ life easy.
Mustafizur Rahman has taken 5 wickets at a brilliant average of 7.8. Australia haven’t been able to negotiate his off-cutters in the middle-overs.
Shoriful Islam too has been up to the task, taking a two-for in both matches. He has been especially impressive at the death.
Australian spinners – Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa – have been able to choke Bangladesh’s scoring rate, but they need to find ways to take wickets. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood (4 wickets each) have been effective, but their change-in-pace deliveries haven’t troubled the home team enough.
Australia were ahead in the game when they removed both openers in 3.1 overs. The all-important wicket of Shakib Al Hasan could have almost sealed them a victory, but the Bangladesh warhorse likes feeding on the Aussies. His counterpunch of 26 off 17 put Australia on the back foot.
Afif Hussain (37* off 31) and Nurul Hasan (22* off 21) added 46 runs for the fifth wicket and kicked Australia out of the contest. It was their composure and shot selection that kept Bangladesh in the hunt.
Other than Mitchell Marsh, no Australia batter has been consistent. The slow pitches in Bangladesh aren’t to be blamed. The lack of runs has been happening since the West Indies tour. Aaron Finch, who was providing decent starts, was ruled out ahead of the series, and the absence of Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, and David Warner has dented their confidence. The bowlers have been giving their best, but the lack of runs on the scoreboard seems to have taken a toll on them as well.
Bangladesh have done everything right. Their lower-order took them out of the woods when they were in trouble, and their bowlers didn’t let the visitors off the hook. A lead of 3-0 on Friday wouldn’t be surprising.
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