July 18, 2003

Australia waste no time in applying pressure

Day One: Australia won toss and bowled first.

Bangladesh's nerves will not have been quelled by Steve Waugh's success at the toss on the first morning of the inaugural Test series between the two countries.

Darwin will see the Australian attack bowl first at the new boys of the world cricket scene in conditions likely to favour the home side.

It is a daunting task for the visitors who, despite two victories in warm-up games of non first-class status, have not yet been exposed to the white-hot level at which the world champions play the game.

Australia have left out all-rounder Andy Bichel (12th man) and spinner Brad Hogg while Bangladesh made Sanwar Hossain their 12th man.

The weather is expected to have no effect on the match whatsoever and as one local said, "If it is hot it will be 32 degrees, if it is cold it will be 30, and if it is just right it will be 31."

However, the temperature for the tourists will be much hotter as they are exposed to the experience of Glenn McGrath, the pace and consistency of Jason Gillespie and the sheer speed of Brett Lee.

The occasion was made the more memorable for the players with the presentation of an inaugural match medallion honouring the first Test contact between the two countries and the first Test played in Darwin.

The teams are:

Australia: Steve Waugh (capt), Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Jason Gillespie, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Martin Love, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath. Andy Bichel (12th man).

Bangladesh: Khaled Mahmud (capt), Javed Omar, Khaled Mashud, Habibul Bashar, Hannan Sarker, Mohammad Ashraful, Al-Sahariar, Manjural Islam, Alok Kapali, Tapash Baisya, Mashrafe Mortaza. Sanwar Hossain (12th man)

Umpires: Rudi Koertzen, David Shepherd, Simon Taufel (3rd), Steve Davis (4th)

Match referee: Mike Procter