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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


Australia wary of threat from Bangladesh

John Mehaffey | March 31, 2007 11:37 IST

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Bangladesh braced for rampant Australia
Australia's World Cup captain Ricky Ponting could be forgiven for a hint of exasperation on Friday when he was reminded of his team's shock loss to Bangladesh in Cardiff two years ago.

On the eve of the champions' World Cup Super Eights match against the ninth-ranked one-day international nation, Ponting said the result had long since been consigned to the record books.

"We've worked it out. A lot's been said about it already," Ponting told a news conference. "It's long gone and forgotten about as far as we are concerned. We just didn't play at our best that day."

Bangladesh's extraordinary five-wicket victory on the back of a century in 101 balls by Mohammad Ashraful was one of a series of reverses for Australia in 2005, culminating in the loss of the Ashes for the first time since they reclaimed the urn in 1989.

"The cricket you've seen us play the last few weeks would indicate that tomorrow, the way we are going at the moment, that we should be able to play cricket good enough to win this game," Ponting said.

"That's all we've been focused on the last couple of days.

'MINNOW TAG'

Bangladesh gained full test status after beating Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup.

They defeated India in the first round and it is an indication of the evolving game in Asia that it is Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who have progressed to the Super Eights and not India and Pakistan.

"They've probably used the minnow tag very well in their favour. I think they are actually a bit better than that," Ponting said. "They have improved a lot, there's no doubt about that.

"They've got some young players who are very capable on their day and we have prepared for them as we would a South Africa, a West Indies or a New Zealand game.

Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar pointed out his team had beaten New Zealand in the warm-up matches and then India in the tournament proper.

"Everyone is in the right form, everyone is contributing at the right times. On our day if we can play together we can beat anyone.

"When you play a team like India, when you think too much and you plan too much it's not going to happen, it's better to go there with a positive mind.

"If you play your best and don't think too much, that's what we plan to do. They will play their natural games tomorrow.

"They (Australia) are scoring 300 runs constantly so it doesn't matter what plans you have, if you don't bowl in the right place they will come after you."

Teams:

Australia - Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait, Glenn McGrath.

Bangladesh (probable) - Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Mushfiqur Rahim, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Habibul Bashar (captain), Mohammad Ashraful, Mohammad Rafique, Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel, Abdur Razzak.


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