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Bangladesh confident of another upset

Test cricket's easy beats for many years, Bangladesh have the belief to shock Australia at home

An emboldened Bangladesh believe they can underscore their Test cricket credentials by consigning Australia to another subcontinent defeat in the coming weeks.

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After gaining a reputation as easy beats in their formative years, the Tigers have improved significantly, highlighted by maiden Test wins over England and Sri Lanka in the past year.

Their famous victory over England in Dhaka last year, which levelled the two-match series at 1-1, showed the danger they will pose on their home soil to a potentially underdone Australian side.

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Chasing 273 for victory, England reached 0-100 before teenage off-spinner Mehedi Hasan ripped through their batting order as the tourists lost 10 wickets in a single session.

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The Tigers went on to claim another series-levelling win during their tour of Sri Lanka in March, something Australia were unable to do during their 0-3 series defeat last year.

Steve Smith's men put in a strong performance in their 1-2 series defeat in India earlier this year, but many of their batsmen have struggled or lack significant experience on turning pitches.

The Aussies have not won a Test series on the subcontinent since beating Sri Lanka 1-0 in 2011.

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The victory over England has also left Bangladesh confident they can handle visiting spinners, with top-order batsman Imrul Kayes declaring the Tigers were more than capable of taking on Nathan Lyon.

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"Lyon is one of the best off-spinners in the world but we are ready to face him," Kayes said.

"We know that wickets in the sub-continent support spinners but against England, we handled their off-spinners so I think we can do a similar job against Australia."

Shakib Al Hasan, the world's No.1-ranked allrounder across all formats, went a step further, describing Bangladesh as "unbeatable" at home.

"It's been a long journey," Shakib told the Guardian.

"It's been incredible. I don't think many people thought, even in Bangladesh, that we can come this far.

Quick Single: Tigers 'unbeatable' at home: Shakib

"We knew that we have this ability, and we needed that belief, and we can only get this belief by winning matches.

Smith embracing the unknown in Dhaka

"But there is no shortage of self-belief at this moment.... Now we feel that we are very much unbeatable at home - doesn't matter who we are playing against."

Quick Single: Australia settled despite cancellation

Australia will go into Sunday's first Test in Dhaka with minimal preparation after a waterlogged ground forced the cancellation of their tour match.

Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong