Australia and Bangladesh looking to open account

Both Australia and Bangladesh will be looking to bounce back from defeats in their opening games in a bid to kick-start their World T20 campaign.

Australia was beaten by New Zealand in its opening match.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

A routine pre-match press conference, with >Steve Smith sitting front and centre, sprung a surprise. Seated among journalists in the conference hall at the Chinnaswamy Stadium was none other than batting great Mark Waugh, now an Australian national selector.

Staying inconspicuous in modest casuals, Waugh slipped under the radar. This was probably for the best, as Smith faced a few uncomfortable questions from the media on team selection matters.

The Australian skipper was asked about a couple of puzzling decisions taken during the course of his side's loss to New Zealand on Friday. Spinners >Ashton Agar and >Adam Zampa - brought into the eleven in place of the big-hitting Aaron Finch and pacer Josh Hazlewood - bowled just two overs between them, while Agar's promotion ahead of proven late-order dasher James Faulkner yielded similarly meagre returns.

Australia will want to wear a more settled look, when it takes the field against Bangladesh on Monday. Smith, however, gave little away when quizzed about possible changes in the side. “I'm not sure. It's the selectors’ job to pick the eleven. Giving Hazlewood a go is certainly an option, if the grass stays on the wicket,” he said, as Waugh looked on.

Read: >Mashrafe: Want Taskin's suspension to be revoked

Bangladesh faces a selection dilemma too, but on a far greater scale. The suspension of speedster Taskin Ahmed and left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny for bowling with illegal actions has dealt a severe blow. The timing of this announcement could not have come at a worse time, with the unit desperate for a fillip after a defeat to Pakistan in its opening fixture a few days ago.

The absence of Taskin and Sunny is likely to force fast-bowler Mustafizur Rahman - he is reportedly yet to recover fully from a side strain - into action. “Even if he is at 20 per cent fitness, he has to play. We don't have any players,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza explained.

Left-arm tweaker Saqlain Sajib and all-rounder >Shuvagata Hom have both been rushed to the city to fill the vacancies. “We don't know if they (Sajib and Hom) will play tomorrow. They haven't slept all night, so they have to sleep all day today,” a sombre Mashrafe said.



Head to head

Played: 3 Australia (won 3), Bangladesh (won 0)

Pitch

Australian skipper Steve Smith expects the Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket to behave the way it does during IPL fixtures. This could mean a mountain of runs.

Weather

Warm, slight chance of thunderstorms