Cloudy future for Australia's Test hopes | cricket.com.au

Advertisement

Cloudy future for Australia's Test hopes

Forecasted heavy rain could yet put a dampener on the highly anticipated second Test between Australia and Bangladesh in Chittagong

Australia's hopes of restoring order after a shock loss to Bangladesh could be scuppered by heavy rain which threatens to wash out the second Test in Chittagong.

Steve Smith's men arrived in the coastal city on Friday to the type of weather that had been forecast but largely failed to materialise during the first Test in Dhaka.

With more than a third of the nation underwater as a result of devastating monsoon flooding, rain and storms are forecast in Chittagong throughout the second Test starting on Monday.

The Australian squad have arrived in Chittagong on the southeast coast ahead of the second and final Test, where a a washout would either prevent Australia from squaring the ledger or spare them a 2-0 series defeat that would send them to No.6 in the ICC's Test rankings.

The makeup of Australia's team remains a subject of intrigue after another diabolical subcontinent batting collapse.

Tigers hold nerve in historic win over Australia

Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade's continued struggles with the bat have left him at risk of being axed, with coach Darren Lehmann refusing to rule out Peter Handscomb taking the gloves in Chittagong.

Usman Khawaja is also under the gun after scoring just two runs from two innings in a disastrous Test return in Dhaka.

The inclusion of medium pace-bowling allrounder Hilton Cartwright would allow Australia to play Pat Cummins as their sole quick and add Steve O'Keefe as a third spinner.

The reaction within Australia after losing to a Bangladesh side ranked ninth in the world was savage, while Australia have won just two of their past 23 Tests on the subcontinent, a record worse than that of any other touring side over the past decade with the exception of Zimbabwe.

Debate continues to rage about whether Australia should pick specialist players for subcontinent tours but Lehmann remains determined to build a team for all seasons.

"You are trying to look for that all-round player that can actually adapt in all conditions so you don't have to keep chopping and changing with horses for courses," Lehmann said.

"You want to pick a group that can play together for five to ten years if that is possible, and that is what we are trying to do.

"So for us, it is a long-term view. Obviously you have still got to get results going your way.

"The character of those guys is exceptional, and I am sure they will bounce back really well in the next Test match.

"We have to, because the criticism will keep coming."


Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Steve O'Keefe, 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, Bangladesh won by 20 runs


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong