Tigers 'unbeatable at home': Shakib

Bangladesh allrounder makes confident statement ahead of two-Test series against Australia, beginning Sunday in Dhaka

Superstar allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has declared Bangladesh "very much unbeatable" on home soil as they prepare to face Australia for the first time in Tests in more than 11 years in Dhaka from Sunday. 

Despite the Tigers having won just nine of the 100 matches they've contested since becoming the 10th Test-playing nation in 2000, Shakib believes a change in approach has enabled the team to begin producing better results.

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"Previously the mindset was to draw against big teams – try to play five days, make a draw," he told The Guardian. 

"But we never used to get the result. Then we started thinking, 'Let's try to win – let's try to play and win the game'. It's the mindset that changed, and that made us believe that we can win."

The attitude adjustment appears to be working; Bangladesh split a two-Test series at home to England one-all last year, and did likewise in Sri Lanka in March – a little over six months after Australia were whitewashed by the Sri Lankans three-nil. 

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Those results have instilled considerable belief in the squad, in which Shakib – who is ranked by the ICC as the world's No.1 allrounder in all three formats – is the most recognisable face. 

The left-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox spinner insists that belief can translate into more success. 

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

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

"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. 

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"So this is the belief that makes a team a very good team, and a winning team."

Shakib hasn't been the only Bangladeshi happy to make confident assertions ahead of the two-Test series against Australia, which will conclude in Chittagong from September 4, though monsoon season is threatening to play havoc on the action. 

Earlier this month, captain Mushfiqur Rahim also said he felt his team could achieve a groundbreaking victory against the Australians, who are four-nil to the good in Tests played between the two countries. 

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"We have always heard that Australia play aggressive cricket," Mushfiqur told Cricbuzz. "We are ready to play against them with an aggressive mindset.

"If we can use the home conditions and play to our potential, I don't think it is impossible to beat Australia. 

"To be honest, if we can play our best cricket, we can beat any team in the world because we have that ability. 

"Earlier, we had to play well while others had to play badly if we wanted to achieve success but that is not the case now."

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