On the side of the field where the rocky hill stands, black clouds have accumulated in the sky on the opposite side. Although the Pune weather report says, there is no forecast of rain when the Bangladesh-Australia match will be played at this ground earlier today. Similarly, the report of the Australian team says that there is no forecast for the “Maxwell storm” here today!
Because Maxwell could not call himself fit until yesterday after playing a superhuman innings that day. Are you preparing yourself for the semifinals in Kolkata? On the new day of Aussies in the World Cup, however, the tired flute is playing in the Bangladesh team. Shakib Nei, bowling coach Alan Donald and team performance analyst Srinivasan’s resignation announcement – all in all, the beginning of the end for the Bangladesh team.
So there is not much pressure of expectations in today’s match. But there is the challenge of juggling a delicate equation of being eight in the World Cup standings to secure a ticket to the Champions Trophy. If they beat Australia, they will be at number eight in the table with 6 points. But even if they lose, there will be a chance, the calculation for now is like this – if Australia scores 360 runs by batting first, then Bangladesh will have to score at least 200 runs. If Bangladesh bats first and scores 200 runs, then Australia will have to drag the game to at least 23 overs to chase that run.
Chandika Hathurusingha must know the calculation, although she does not admit that securing the Champions Trophy ticket is the main goal of the Bangladesh team in this World Cup. ‘At the moment I’m not going into any equation. We are looking at the match against Australia as a World Cup match. Where we have to play our best game to beat them.’ In 2005, Bangladesh beat Australia in an ODI in Cardiff, but no bilateral series was played in that way in the last 18 years. Apart from that the current team is quiet, many of the Tawhids have never faced this Aussie bowling. So Australia is very unknown to this team. But the spinners did well in the first match against Afghanistan, as did the pacers against Sri Lanka – the team looking to face today’s match with confidence from two matches. Mushfiq will play three matches in daylight.
The cricketers want to return home with a love at the end like the beginning of the World Cup. Trying to catch the return flight to Dhaka in the evening. It was not known till night whether the tickets were available. It has happened in the past, the cricketers gave up at the end of the World Cup, having a hangover. In the last World Cup, because of that, they had to accept a bad defeat in the last match against Pakistan. But this time it’s like a different atmosphere in the dressing room.
Mushfiq was seen playing great shots in the net after coming to the optional practice yesterday, Liton did not come the previous day but batted well for an hour and a half. Mehdi Hasan Miraj was seen hitting sixes on several occasions and Enamul Haque Vijay looked quite comfortable in the nets today. Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe talked to him for a long time. XI will see this victory today? Hathuru made fun of answering this question in front of the camera. ‘He certainly deserves to be in the playing XI as one of the 15.’ In fact, the team management is planning to play this victory in the opening today.
Vijay can be played in place of Shakib and spinner Nasum Ahmed can be in place of pacer Tanjim. Daniel Vettori, the assistant coach of the opposing team, feels that the spinners will do well after seeing Pune’s pitch. Of course, someone who has a leg-spinner like Adam Zampa in his hands can say that with emphasis. Although Maxwell did not play today, Aussie Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh are there. An Aussie journalist in the Pune press box said, “This is actually a warm-up match for their semi-final.” There are some like Smith who may choose Bangladesh for a return to form. He remembered Ashraful’s words the day before. “When I was hitting the Aussie bowlers for boundaries in Cardiff, they thought they were going to hit them, but in the end they lost the match. They will make a mistake if they take Bangladesh lightly.’
Today, Bangladesh did not wait to see any such mistake by the Aussies. Even in the last ragini, there is something to come.