(Reuters) – Australia have no special plans for Bangladesh’s batsmen ahead of Thursday’s World Cup match at Trent Bridge, but dismissing the in-form Shakib Al Hasan early on could hold the key to victory, wicketkeeper Alex Carey said on Wednesday.
All-rounder Shakib’s second straight ton in the tournament helped Bangladesh pull off the second highest successful World Cup run chase to seal a seven-wicket victory over the West Indies on Monday.
The victory kept fifth-placed Bangladesh firmly in the hunt for a semi-final berth ahead of their next match against second-placed Australia and the holders have identified Shakib and Liton Das as the players who could make the difference.
“Bangladesh are playing really good cricket at the moment and it’s led by Shakib. So we’ve put our time into Shakib and all the players at the top of the order as well as their bowling,” Carey told reporters.
“I think he (Shakib) is probably in the best form (of his career) with the white ball. So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and out there we’ll assess the conditions… no extra planning.
“…We’d love to get him out early… he’s in great form… Liton Das played an incredible innings. We’ve gone through the batting list and hopefully plans go accordingly.”
Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 87 runs in their last match to make it four wins from five games but Carey said they were still not firing on all cylinders.
“We’re playing really good cricket… the top of the order, batting-wise, have done a lot of the work and making a lot of the runs which is great,” he added.
“But there’s little areas we can do better at. Obviously Sri Lanka came out and played really well in the first 10 overs. So we’d like to take wickets up front. There’s been times where we would like to finish the innings off with a bat.
“Although we’re getting the results, we’re striving hard to try to find that perfect game and put a full 50 or 100 overs together. We’re aware of the areas to keep improving.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)