Players to Watch
The onus is on Mahmudullah Riyad, the captain of the Bangladesh T20 team, to guide his side on both fronts – as a player and a leader -- against Australia. Bangladesh will be taking the field without their two of the most experienced players -- Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim -- along with an in-form Liton Das. Thus the 35-year-old, with his vast experience, will have to shepherd this relatively young side and under Mahmudullah's leadership, the Tigers will be eyeing to register their first-ever T20I win against the Aussies.
Shakib Al Hasan
Undoubtedly, Shakib Al Hasan will hold the key for the Tigers in the five-match T20I series against Australia in all three departments of the game. The champion all-rounder, who has been instrumental behind the Tigers' only win in the Tests against the Aussies back in 2017, will once again have to play a pivotal role for his side. Shakib has an average of 35.75 in four games against Australia which includes a fifty and he has also picked up five wickets with a best bowling figure of three for 27. However, the Tigers team management will have to manage the workload of Shakib who is carrying an old groin injury that reappeared in Zimbabwe last month.
Despite the fact that Mustafizur Rahman is still recovering from his ankle injury, which forced him to miss a majority of the games in Zimbabwe, the left-arm seamer will be expected to lead the Tigers' pace bowling unit in the upcoming series. The 25-year-old so far played just one T20I against the Aussies during the 2016 ICC World T20 however, the wily customer possess the ability to outfox this seemingly inexperienced Aussie batting line-up with his cutters and slowers, especially in the Mirpur surface which is tailor-made to suit Mustafizur.
Having been the Player of the Series in the recent ODI series against the West Indies by securing 11 wickets in 3 matches, Mitchell Starc has come to Bangladesh with a top-notch form. The leader of Aussies' bowling attack took a while to pick up his form after a long break, which reflected on his last T20I series against the Caribbeans, but he came off firing in all cylinders in the ODIs. Despite the fact that the wicket of Mirpur tends to remain slow and low for the seamers, Starc's vast experience will certainly remain a major threat for the batters of Bangladesh.
In the absence of big names such as Steven Smith, Aaron Finch, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell, recently Mitchel Marsh has been in terrific form with his new role at number three. He scored three fifties in his last five games, including a blistering 75-run knock in the 4th T20I against West Indies, which eventually steered the Aussies in clinching a four-run victory. The 29-year-old also played a decisive role with his medium-pace bowling and the slow Mirpur pitch is expected to favour Marsh against the hosts.
Adam Zampa has emerged as the biggest weapon for the Aussies in the shortest format where the leg-spinner is not only able to contain runs but also manages to pick wickets in crucial circumstances. Beside his off-spin, Zampa has been instrumental with his googlies to a great effect which makes him even more difficult for the batsman to negotiate. The 29-year-old could certainly prove to be the x-factor for the Aussies against the Tigers, especially in this sub-continental conditions.