Weather conditions prompt selection of fast bowlers
Bangladesh chief selector Rafiqul Alam has said five pace bowlers were picked for the one-day series in Australia because of the weather conditions in Darwin, the venue of the three matches. "It's always hot in Darwin. The humidity though is nothing like it is here and we expect bouncy pitches. On the other hand, we have five practice games and some practice sessions before the series," he told the Dhaka-based Daily Star.
Alam, announcing the 15-member Bangladesh team on Sunday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, said the selectors didn't want to risk picking wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim after he failed a fitness test. "We took some more time to declare the team because of injury problems. Mushfiqur, who hardly had any problem while keeping and batting, looked uncomfortable when throwing the ball," he said.
Mushfiqur, along with batsman Alok Kapali, pacemen Mashrafe Mortaza and Nazmul Hossain were all recovering from injuries.
"We have recalled Dhiman Ghosh after his impressive performance in England with the Bangladesh A team," he said. Ghosh last played in the five-match one-day series in Pakistan in April and has scored 94 runs in 11 ODIs.
Admitting the opening pair was still a concern for Bangladesh, Alam said: "Nazimuddin had his chances but he was not up to the mark. Mehrab Hossain jnr looked impressive against the new ball and that's why we considered him as the third opener. Shahriar Nafees kept his place as well due to his good record and previous performances against Australia."
The main target for Bangladesh would be to close the gap against Australia during the series.
Mohammad Ashraful, the Bangladesh captain, said the focus will be to stay competitive in the series. "My opinion is that we fought against the top-ranked sides in the last two tournaments and there were signs of improvement in our performances. We want to play good cricket and challenge the world's best team".
Coach Jamie Siddons believed the team will "be competitive if the wickets suited them".
The Bangladesh squad which will fly to Australia in the early hours of August 14 and are scheduled to play five practice games before the three one-dayers.