Sports, Cricket

Australia’s dominance, Bangladesh’s learning curve

Published : 08 Apr 2024 09:49 PM | Updated : 08 Apr 2024 09:49 PM

Australia, on their maiden bilateral series visit to Bangladesh, secured a clean sweep after winning all six limited-overs matches. This outcome reflects the significant gap in experience and skill between the two sides. While a large sum was invested in hosting the series, the primary takeaway for the Bangladeshi team, nicknamed the Tigresses, appears to be valuable experience.

Chasing a modest target of 156 in the final T20I, Bangladesh could only manage 78 runs. This continues a worrying trend, with the team scoring below 100 runs in four out of their last six matches. However, Team vice-captain Nahida Akhtar highlighted a couple of positives: skipper Nigar Sultana's unbeaten 63 in the first T20I and some encouraging bowling spells.

While Nahida acknowledged some bowling shortcomings, she also pointed out that Australian batters were occasionally challenged. As Australian captain Alyssa Healy observed, Bangladesh's bowlers did put up some resistance, restricting them to under 100 runs before losing five wickets in the final T20I. The Tigresses' bowlers were particularly effective on slow, low-bounce wickets during the middle overs. However, their efforts were ultimately overshadowed by batting failures.

Despite the lopsided scorelines, Nahida did find value in observing Australia's fielding. "They are a very experienced team," she noted, highlighting their multiple World Cup victories. The Bangladeshi team used the series as a learning opportunity, focusing on strategies against a strong opponent. Nahida expressed her takeaways and the team's commitment to address their weaknesses in the coming days.

Bangladesh's next challenge arrives later this month with their first-ever five-match T20 series against India in Sylhet. Both Nahida and Healy believe that playing top teams like India and Australia regularly is crucial for Bangladesh's development. Healy emphasized the importance of such bilateral series in boosting confidence and fostering a fighting spirit.

For Australia, this tour served as vital preparation for the upcoming World Cup. They experimented heavily in the last two matches, with a reshuffled batting order and all seven bowlers getting a chance in the final match, a unique occurrence in an ICC full member match. Despite the one-sided results, Healy sees potential in Bangladesh for the World Cup. Their home advantage and familiarity with the conditions could pose a serious threat to top teams. However, to truly challenge their opponents, Bangladesh will need to significantly improve upon their performance against Australia.