Australia eye Bangladesh win to start Super 8s on the right note

Stoinis continued his good run of form with the bat in the tournament versus Scotland. (PC:

Historically, Australia have a tendency to peak at the right time in ICC events. The most recent example would be their memorable 50-over World Cup triumph in India. In the ongoing T20 World Cup, too, Australia would be looking to find some momentum in Super 8s, where they take on Bangladesh in their opening game in Antigua. And subsequently, chisel out a path to the semifinals and final. The good part for the Mitchell Marsh-led Australian side is that they won all their four games in the group stage of the tournament.

Marcus Stoinis, the power-hitter, has been a game-breaker for Australia. In their previous match versus Scotland, the all-rounder gave ample evidence of his pyrotechnics with a blazing 29-ball 59 to not just prop up the innings, but also pilot Australia to yet another win in the group phase. Travis Head, the mainstay of the Australian batting unit, has continued to provide Australia quick starts at the top of the order.

Despite enough positives, there are still a few concerns surrounding the batting engine room. One of them is the poor form of Glenn Maxwell. Marsh too has not been among the runs. Meanwhile, Adam Zampa has spearheaded the bowling attack admirably, taking 9 wickets at an average of just over 10. He could also find a bit of purchase in Antigua. The only slight worry for Australia is that Mitchell Starc has not fired so far. The veteran seamer, however, does have a knack of raising his game at the right moment.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bangladesh would also be feeling confident of their chances of making an impression in the Super 8s. The think tank would be especially pleased with how the pace trio of Tanzim Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed have gone about their business. Rishad Hossain, the leg-spinner, has also found some success. 

The one drawback for Bangladesh is that they have played all their games so far in relatively tough conditions in the United States of America and Saint Vincent. So, they have to adapt to the different conditions in Antigua. The form back says Australia, but Bangladesh would believe that, on a given day, they can pip their mighty opponent. 

Probable XI

Bangladesh: Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das (wk), Najmul Shanto (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Jaker Ali, Tanzim Haasan, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman.

Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Adam Zampa.

Weather and pitch conditions: There could be the occasional rain shower through the course of the day. As we witnessed during England-Namibia, the drainage system at the ground is excellent. The tracks in Antigua for this World Cup have offered just enough help for both the pace bowlers and spinners. With a little more bounce on view, the batters too can land their shots.