Hoping for history to repeat itself
Bangladesh, who caused one of the biggest upsets in one-day history when they beat Australia at Cardiff last June, may well be looking for a repeat as the three-match one-day series kicks off tomorrow at Chittagong.
Following a 2-0 Test series loss, when they came perilously close to beating Australia in the first game, Bangladesh needed a shot in the arm. They have always looked more at home in the shorter version, and would take inspiration from their recent form. In March, Bangladesh completed a 4-0 whitewash over Kenya, and even took one match off Sri Lanka in a three-game series in late February. Both successes secured their place in October's Champions Trophy in India.
On the flip side, Australia's last one-day match has been well-documented. March 12, 2006 will always be remembered as the day South Africa chased down 434 in arguably one of the greatest one-day internationals ever. Ricky Ponting, though, has urged his side to forget about the Johannesburg epic and transfer their recent Test success - they have not lost a Test since surrendering the Ashes last September - into the one-day format.
In the ODI Championship table, Australia sit 13 points clear of their nearest challenger, South Africa, while Bangladesh lie at the 10th spot. An unlikely two wins will see Bangladesh's rating rise by six points to 30 (Australia will slip to 128) and a miraculous 3-0 success will lift them to 33 rating points (Australia 126).
From the side that lost 2-0 in the Tests, Enamul Haque jnr and Abdur Razzak, both left-arm spinners, have made way for Tushar Imran, the middle-order batsman, and Syed Rasel, the young left-arm medium-pacer.
Dan Cullen, the offspinner, is set to make his one-day debut. "Dan Cullen will make his debut tomorrow and we get to have another look at Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken is back in the team for us," Ponting told reporters. He expected the Chittagong pitch to take plenty of turn, but said there should be plenty of runs in it as well for the batsmen. "We've got two spinners in [Brad] Hogg and Cullen which we think will suit the conditions."
Australia (probable): 1 Simon Katich, 2 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Andrew Symonds, 7 Brad Hogg, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Nathan Bracken, 10 Dan Cullen, 11 Mitchell Johnson.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Javed Omar, 2 Shahriar Nafees, 3 Habibul Bashar (capt), 4 Mohammad Ashraful, 5 Rajin Saleh, 6 Aftab Ahmed, 7 Khaled Mashud (wk), 8 Mohammad Rafique, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Syed Rasel 11, Shahadat Hossain.