Australia is ready for Bangladesh, says Peter Handscomb

A possible cancellation of the warm-up match will not impact the team’s confidence, feels the batsman.

Peter Handscomb at a press conference in Dhaka on Sunday.   -  AP

Australia is ready for its first Test on Bangladeshi soil for over a decade even if it misses a warm-up match due to flooding, batsman Peter Handscomb said on Sunday.

The visitor is slated to play the warm-up at Fatullah on the outskirts of Dhaka starting Tuesday, but the match remains in doubt because the ground is partially inundated. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has offered alternative venues but the Australians are reluctant to change at the last minute due to security concerns.

Australia has not toured Bangladesh since 2006, and the Test starting next Sunday at Dhaka's Sher-e Bangla National Stadium has been long in the making. It was due to play two Tests in Bangladesh in October 2015 but the tour was cancelled over security fears after a wave of attacks by Islamist extremists in the Muslim-majority nation.

‘Ready to go’

Cricket Australia agreed to reschedule the series this year only after Bangladesh promised intense security. Handscomb said his side had prepared for the tour and was "fine and ready to go."

"I don't think we will be going into that first Test cold, regardless whether the tour match goes ahead or not," he told reporters. "We had a great preparation up in Darwin. We managed to play an intra-squad three-day game there. I think everyone got what they needed out of it."

Australia decided against a warm-up match during its last tour of Bangladesh and was caught off guard by the host, narrowly scraping a win after a shock start. The Darwin match, in Australia's tropical north, was seen as a conditioning exercise before the hot and humid weather expected throughout the Bangladesh series.

‘Open mind’

Handscomb said Australia's relative inexperience in the region could prove to be a blessing. "I actually don't think it is a bad thing as well, going into the subcontinent with an open mind," he said. "I think if you haven't played too many games in the subcontinent, you are not too worried about what the ball might do. You can play with a bit more freedom rather than going in with the expectations that the ball will do everything," he said.

The second Test will start in Chittagong on September 4 and the Australians depart Bangladesh on September 9.

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