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Mashrafe Mortaza banks on 'confidence from West Indies win' to lift Bangladesh

The batsmen have to be alert to the variety in Australia's bowling attack, says the Bangladesh captain

Bangladesh are wary of the variety in the Australia attack

Bangladesh are wary of the variety in the Australia attack  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

Confidence, Mashrafe Mortaza stressed, was high in the Bangladesh camp after the win over West Indies, and key ahead of the upcoming game against Australia, on Thursday at Trent Bridge.
West Indies attacked Bangladesh with a short-ball plan, which didn't work at all. Bangladesh scored 78 in the 36 bouncers they faced without losing a wicket. Overall, in their four matches so far, they have a strike rate of 112.92 against anything short, which is higher than their scoring rate against all other bowling.
Admittedly, the West Indians overdid it, especially after it didn't have an effect on the Bangladesh batsmen. With Australia, there will likely be a lot of short balls, but there will also be the threat of yorkers from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, not to mention the short-format guiles of the others like Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson. Then come the spinners - Glenn Maxwell has been their frontman there, but Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon are lurking too.
"I think the Australian bowling attack has a lot of variation," Mashrafe said. "They have Pat Cummins, who can bowl quick and use the change of pace. I think they have a good wrist spinner. Nathan Lyon is there, [Adam] Zampa. So it won't be easy like the other match [against West Indies].
"[But] the confidence is the main thing, which the batsmen have at the moment. I think if we take that confidence into the ground and deliver to our best, and we can assess the wicket very well, you never know."
Of the Bangladeshis, Shakib Al Hasan has been the standout performer so far, but Mashrafe was impressed by the way Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar have batted at the top, and pointed out that others - specifically Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin - have also contributed to the team's cause.
"I won't say Bangladesh is a one-man army," Mashrafe said. "Shakib is scoring runs; that's a great thing for the team. But if you look at it, the other boys have stepped up too. Mustafiz, as I said, took two wickets in the last match. If Saifuddin didn't take that early wicket, everyone knows what Chris Gayle can do. We have had Tamim and Soumya starting well. Mushfiqur is batting well. Mehidy is bowling well.
"But Shakib is an exceptional cricketer. He's playing at his best at the moment. We really appreciate what Shakib is doing but it will be great to see the others continuing what they are also doing."
Australia, though, are a notch above West Indies and South Africa, the two teams Bangladesh have beaten so far, and have a 4-1 win-loss record in the tournament at the moment. But Mashrafe talked up "the confidence from the West Indies win", and the team's improved performance in the last few years, to say that Bangladesh don't always regard opponents, whoever they might be, as unbeatable. The trick might be to take the game as deep as possible.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84