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Why Bangladesh's win isn't an upset

Beating Australia in Mirpur was historic, but was it really unexpected?

Bangladesh's cricketers celebrate a famous victory over England, Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 3rd day, October 30, 2016

Bangladesh beat England last year with a similar formula to the one used against Australia  •  Getty Images

Bangladesh are becoming a Test force at home
The second Test of last year's Bangladesh-England series, in Dhaka, followed a similar trajectory to the Mirpur Test against Australia. Bangladesh scored just above 200 in the first innings before knocking over England's top order cheaply. The lower order got England back into the game, but a strong second innings ensured Bangladesh set England 273 to chase, eight more than Australia had to in Mirpur. Bangladesh ended up winning that Test by 108 runs.
In the series against England, Bangladesh proved they were a difficult team to play at home. In the first Test, despite losing the toss, they ran England close, and fell short by just 22 runs in the end.
In their home series against South Africa in July 2015, Bangladesh took a first-innings lead before rain curtailed the first Test.
Australia have struggled in Asia
Australia impressed by pushing India when they toured there earlier this year, but that was an aberration. In the past five years, they have won just one and lost 12 of the 14 Tests they have played in Asia. They were whitewashed in Sri Lanka in 2016, by Pakistan in the UAE in 2014 and in India in 2013. When they last toured Bangladesh, in 2006, they scraped home by just three wickets in the first Test in Fatullah.
Bangladesh have the more experienced batsmen
While Bangladesh's top six batsmen have played 199 Tests between them, Australia's have played just 168. Only two of Australia's top six - David Warner and Steven Smith - have played more than 50 Tests, while Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim have each played more than 50 Tests for Bangladesh.
The toss is crucial in Bangladesh
In the past five years, Bangladesh have lost at home just twice when they have won the toss. They have won the toss, batted first and won four times. So Bangladesh were favourites to win when they won the toss in Mirpur. On the flipside, when Bangladesh have lost the toss in the past five years, they have won just once and lost twice.