Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI, Fatullah April 25, 2006

Ashraful axed for second ODI

Cricinfo staff

Mohammad Ashraful will play no role at Fatullah tomorrow © Getty Images

Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladesh's middle-order batsman, has been dropped from the squad for the second one-day international against Australia at Fatullah tomorrow. Alok Kapali, another middle-order batsman, has been called up as replacement.

"He [Ashraful] is a little bit out of form at the moment and his confidence is also down, so we feel he should have a break," Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh's coach, told Reuters. Habibul Bashar, the captain, said that it was a decision the team management was forced to take. "It is very unfortunate that we have to drop a batsman like Ashraful," he said. "But we have no other option as he looked out of form."

In the first one-day match at Chittagong, Ashraful scratched around for 23 deliveries and made just 5. Kapali, who has played 51 one-day internationals since his debut against Sri Lanka in 2002, was withdrawn from the first match, which Australia won by four wickets, after he was struck in the face by a ball in practice.

Bangladesh have also called up Shahadat Hossain, the fast bowler who impressed in the Tests, to replace Syed Rasel, who went for 35 runs in four overs at Chittagong. Australia, meanwhile, have named an unchanged side for the remaining two matches at Fatullah.

Bashar added that his side was keen on making correcting their batting errors and make a contest of the three-match series. "We want to come back...our target is to complete the 50 overs and go for a win," he said. "We were near a win [at Chittagong], and maybe 20 more runs would have made the difference. We have to remedy that and make less mistakes. We play well sometimes, we need to gain self-belief that we can play well consistently."

Faruque Ahmed, a former national captain and current chief selector, said that Bangladesh had performed credibly in the series. "We have a long way to go to establish ourselves as a competitive side but there was an evidence in the series that we are gradually improving in this level and at least a little bit settled as a team," he told the Daily Star. "The way we defended a small total in the first limited-overs match gave the clear indication of an improving side. I am hopeful of watching a much better performance in the last two one-day game to finish the series on a high."

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Shahriar Nafees, 2 Rajin Saleh, 3 Aftab Ahmed, 4 Habibul Bashar (capt), 5 Tushar Imran, 6 Alok Kapali, 7 Khaled Mashud (wk), 8 Mohammad Rafique, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Shahadat Hossain

Australia (probable): 1 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Brett Lee, 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Dan Cullen, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Mitchell Johnson