Australia will face Bangladesh at Trent Bridge on Thursday in their next league match of World Cup 2019. Australia are currently sitting at second place in the points table of World Cup 2019, below the hosts, England. While Australia are favourites to win the clash, Bangladesh have also looked good in the World Cup so far. They have defeated South Africa and the West Indies while they lost a close match against New Zealand. For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan has been in the form of his life and he has scored two consecutive hundreds and Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza will hope that his premier all-rounder deliver the goods against Australia.
Talking about the threat, Shakib possess, Australia's coach Justin Langer admitted that his team will have to find a way to tackle Shakib.
"He (Shakib) probably is the world's best all-rounder and a left-arm spinner," Langer told reporters ahead of the game.
The good news for Australia is that all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is fit after missing two matches due to a side strain though he is not a definite starter against Bangladesh.
Langer also hinted that a specialist spinner may come in in his eleven in view of the "dry" strip at the Trent Bridge.
"That (playing four fast bowlers) might change. That was more brought upon us because Stoinis got injured. It's been wet, it's been overcast, the wickets get a bit drier. This one (at Trent Bridge) looks dry," he said.
Australia played leg-spinner Adam Zampa in their first three matches, winning two of those, but in the last two matches they have not fielded any specialist spinner. They have used part-timer Glenn Maxwell as their main spinner in the last two matches, with captain Finch also chipping in against Pakistan. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon is yet to get a game in the tournament.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, are known to raise their level against top sides, before getting the better of West Indies, they had shocked South Africa by 21 runs in their campaign opener.
With five points from as many matches, Bangladesh have become a contender for the semi-final spot. After his unbeaten 124, Shakib declared that he held no fear for the Australian pace brigade, led by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
"We've been facing some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches. We've been coping well and we're not worried about that because we played England, we played West Indies. Both the teams got 140, 150-plus bowlers. We just need to do our basics right. I think we're a skilled team and we are capable enough to counter those challenges," Shakib said.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steve Smith, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Abu Jayed, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun.
Match starts at 3pm.
(With PTI inputs)