Australia v Bangladesh: Carey and co target dangerman Shakib

By Sports Desk June 19, 2019

Australia are wary of the threat posed by Shakib Al Hasan as they prepare to encounter the Cricket World Cup's leading run-scorer at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

The all-rounder has scored 384 in four innings so far, including a pair of centuries in his last two visits, and there is no disguising the fact he is Bangladesh's main threat.

Shakib made 124 not out as the Tigers chased down 322 inside 42 overs to hammer West Indies at Taunton on Monday, a victory that left them just two points adrift of the semi-final spots.

"I think he's in probably career-best form with the white ball," said Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey of Shakib. "So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and I guess out there we'll assess the conditions as well.

"No extra planning, I don't think. We normally have our plans going into every game and we assess each player accordingly.

"In terms of what we're going to bowl, we leave that up to the bowlers and the captain to do that, but we'd love to get him out early. He's in great form, along with the other players."

Australia could bring all-rounder Marcus Stoinis back into their side after he recovered from the side strain that saw him miss matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Australia have won four games from five to sit in a strong position to reach the semi-finals. Captain Aaron Finch is having a fine tournament with the bat, making 343 in five innings to date.

Bangladesh enter the match with two wins and two defeats plus one no-result due to rain. They cruised to a seven-wicket win over the Windies last time out.

WHAT THEY SAID

Carey: "Obviously Bangladesh are playing some really good cricket at the moment and it's led by Shakib. He's one guy we want to get out early."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza: "Shakib is brilliant. The way he's playing, I think we need to support him as well, his team. It's not been a one-man army, but as you said he's been doing outstandingly."

OPTA FACTS

- These two sides have been involved in 19 completed ODIs, with Australia winning 18 of those and losing just once, in Cardiff 14 years ago.

- Australia have won the World Cup more often than any other side (five times) and are looking to win this tournament for the fifth time in their last six attempts; Bangladesh are yet to reach the semi-final stage.

- Steve Smith is set to register his 100th ODI innings for Australia in this match. He has scored 3,674 runs across his previous 99 knocks and heads into this contest on the back of a 59-ball 73 against Sri Lanka.

- Shakib Al Hasan has managed to register 50 runs or more in five successive ODI knocks. No batsman has ever posted six half-centuries on the spin for Bangladesh. Shakib is currently tied for the record with Tamim Iqbal, who made five 50-plus scores in succession in 2012.

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