Sports, Cricket

Tigers aim to end on high

Published : 08 Aug 2021 09:36 PM | Updated : 08 Aug 2021 11:43 PM

Bangladesh will aim to wrap up their series and continue their dominance while visitors Australia will aim to find some respectability when the two teams clash in the fifth and final T20I of the series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Monday. 

Having already lost the series, Matthew Wade and Co. will fight for lost pride and potentially clinch only their third win in the last 10 T20Is. As for the hosts, Mahmudullah’s side will hope to continue building momentum as they prepare for the T20 World Cup qualifiers.

It's been a weird T20 series: 120 feels like a batting side has reached the stars, Australia have barely been able to lay a bat on the brilliant Mustafizur Rahman, a debutant has taken a hat-trick and there's been a 30-run over with five sixes amid a lot of prodding and poking. 

This has been a tough series for batters to prosper, but Soumya Sarkar has had a particularly difficult time at the top of the order with scores of 2, 0, 2 and 8. He had scored three half-centuries in the previous two series against New Zealand and Zimbabwe but may have now given the selectors something to ponder.

Bangladesh have achieved what they set out to do - beat Australia - and the confidence gained from winning can never be discounted, but the true value of these performances may not be known until the T20 World Cup. Before then they face New Zealand at home and it will be very interesting to see the types of surfaces produced.

Whether pitches were 100 is nearly defendable - Bangladesh were probably one breakthrough away from going 4-0 up - is good T20 is a decent debate, although the challenges of preparing surfaces for this series in terms of the weather and tight Covid protocols should be acknowledged. 

No one wants roads all the time, and the occasional low-scoring scrap is enjoyable, but when cutters are jumping off a length and batters have little confidence they can play their strokes it's perhaps tilted a little too far the other way.

For Australia this will likely be their last T20 before they select their World Cup squad. Mitchell Marsh will emerge as one of the standout performers, the bowling attack has held up very well and Dan Christian's onslaught in the fourth match was a statement. 

But it's difficult to say they will head home having really answered the pre-tour questions. Justin Langer will hope to have the absent players back - a lot rests on their shoulders.