Bangladesh have won the toss and will bat. One change for them, specialist batsman Mominul Haque coming in for a bowler in Shafiul Islam. Australia make two changes – Khawaja and Hazlewood (injury) out and in come Hilton Cartwright and Steve O’Keefe. So one team, the home team, bolsters its batting and the visitors have had to drop the man they played at No. 3 in the last Test for an allrounder.
Australia came into this series severely underestimating BD. Agar is not the 2nd best spinner in the country and Khawaja is not top 6 batsman in the subcontinent. Both were picked with an eye to the future Agar for India in a few years and Khawaja for the Ashes later this year. They somehow seemed to dismiss BD as a threat..Now after one loss look at the panic, they recall o’keefe who should never have been dropped and dump Khawaja.
A win or draw for Bangladesh would secure the team’s fourth series win since gaining Test status in 2000, and the first over a team other than Zimbabwe or the West Indies. Australia must avoid defeat in order to avoid dropping to sixth on the ICC Test rankings, their lowest spot since the system was introduced in 2003.
The hosts meanwhile included an extra batsman in Mominul Haque at the expense of seam bower Shafiul Islam, meaning both sides have chosen only one frontline paceman each.
O’Keefe returned while he is still suspended from playing in New South Wales’ next assignment, the domestic limited-overs tournament, after offensive behaviour towards a female Australian cricketer at the end of season awards night in April. Khawaja, meanwhile, was dropped from an Australian team in Asia for the second time in as many tours, though he is favoured to bat No. 3 during the home Ashes series that follows.
Despite a grim forecast for heavy showers, the skies over Chittagong were clear for the first morning of the match.
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Imrul Kayes, 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Mehidy Hasan, 10 Taijul Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman.
Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Matt Renshaw, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Peter Handscomb, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Hilton Cartwright, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Steve O’Keefe, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Nathan Lyon.
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