Aussies look left for right answer to Shakib threat

Skipper Wade says fellow lefties Carey and Agar could be influential against Bangladesh's star spinning allrounder and his fellow left-arm tweakers

Australia hope batting smarts and shrewd tactics, rather than brute force, will help them put up a better showing against spin in their five-match T20 series against Bangladesh than they managed in the Caribbean.

The Aussies' frailty against the turning ball was exposed during their T20 series defeat to the West Indies last month by spin duo Hayden Walsh and Fabian Allen, and they will now take on a Tigers side led by one of the game's greatest-ever spin-bowling allrounders, Shakib Al Hasan.

The last time Australia played in Dhaka, the tenacious Shakib took 10 wickets and scored a crucial 84 on a spicy pitch in Bangladesh's historic maiden Test victory over the men in Baggy Green.

Shakib declared at the time that "after this Test match, (Australia) will show a lot more respect" and while T20 is a different format, the Aussies have certainly returned to the densely-populated Asian nation with their eyes open to the challenge awaiting them in the five-match series beginning Tuesday evening (10pm AEST).

In the absence of Aaron Finch, veteran Matthew Wade leads a severely undermanned Australian batting line-up, with the wicketkeeper suggesting they are now better prepared than they were four years ago, while a fresh tactical approach against spin will also be considered.

Ashton Agar was sent out to bat at No.6 on his return from a hamstring injury in Australia's most recent game, a six-wicket win in the ODI series decider against the West Indies, due to his left-handedness.

It is a ploy Wade said could be repeated specifically to counter Shakib, who could be joined by fellow left-arm spinners Nasum Ahmed or Taijul Islam during the series.

"That will certainly be looked at," Wade told cricket.com.au on Monday. "With Agar back it gives us the opportunity to have a few more lefties in the line-up.

"We've got myself and (Alex) Carey here as well – 'Starcy' (tailender Mitchell Starc) is there as well.

"We saw using left-handers, especially with the left-arm orthodox spinners, worked well (against the Windies) … I think it could be used when needed for sure.

"We used it in the last one-dayer, we used it in New Zealand (in T20s earlier this year) a bit with Agar going up (the order).

"That's not to say the right-handers can't play spinners, it's just that statistically and match-up wise it works a bit better at times. I'm sure we'll use that throughout the series."

Turner adding revolutions to off-spin action evolution

Australia have struggled badly against bowlers who spin the ball away from right-handers recently; leg-spinner Walsh was player of the series in the Windies T20s, and left-arm orthodox spinner Allen proved difficult to score off through those same matches, while fellow left-arm orthodox spinner Akeal Hosein was a constant threat during the ensuing ODIs in Barbados.

With some exceptions, the powerful West Indians generally had less trouble against Australia's spin but Wade insisted his players must find their own strategy.

"We understand it's an issue – we've just got to find our own method to it," said Wade.

"We're not the West Indies and we're not another country – not everyone can just blast spinners out of the ground.

"You've got to find a way to either counter that or wait for the quicks to come back on and manipulate the field – it's not all about hitting the ball to all parts.

"I think guys have added things to their game that they probably didn't (have) at the start of the tour."

Bangladesh have a handful of finger-spinners in their squad but Shakib's vast experience at international level and in the Indian Premier League, combined with the likelihood of turning surfaces at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium hosting five games in a week, sees him present the biggest danger.

The 34-year-old is the No.2 ranked allrounder in T20Is, No.1 in ODIs and the only man to be ranked among the top five allrounders in all three formats.

"We're certainly aware of what he can do," Wade said of his one-time Melbourne Renegades teammate Shakib.

"He was pretty impressive in the Test match here in 2017. He's a tricky customer … he can turn the ball around and hit the shiny side and try to get you lbw, or turn the seam over and try to get your outside edge.

"Depending on what the wickets do we'll have to work out what we do with him. He's certainly a vital part of their team.

"He's also pretty impressive with the bat – he strikes at a high average. He'll be a key wicket when he bats."

Shakib's importance is only increased in the absence of key men Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim.

Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo labelled Shakib a big-game player and suggested he could even open the batting against the Aussies.

"He's going to be massively important, he's really confident in his bowling at the moment," said Domingo.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how he shapes up against the Australian top order.

"We know they've got a lot of right-handers in the mix, which could work in our favour as well.

"He's a player who does well in big series so I'm expecting some big performances out of him in the next couple of weeks."

Qantas Tour of Bangladesh 2021

Australia squad: Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (vc), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.

Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (c), Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Shakib Al Hasan, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Shaif Uddin, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Rubel Hossain

(all matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka)

First T20: August 3, 6pm (10pm AEST)

Second T20: August 4, 6pm (10pm AEST)

Third T20: August 6, 6pm (10pm AEST)

Fourth T20: August 7, 6pm (10pm AEST)

Fifth T20: August 9, 6pm (10pm AEST)