Mohammad Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful played remarkable T20I innings that are still etched in the memory. Getty Images

The T20 World Cup 2016 is turning to be an unpredictable tournament with unexpected teams leading in the respective matches. Associate nation such as Afghanistan, who entered the Super 10s, won all the qualifying matches against other associate teams. On the other end, you have teams such as India, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka who have had good T20I records, facing defeats in one of the first two contests they played. Nonetheless, Bangladesh tried to give a tough fight against Pakistan in their first match, but Pakistan’s bowling outplayed them. And same was the case with Australia, as they were outwitted by New Zealand in their first clash. Australia and Bangladesh are sailing in the same boat and will take on each other at Bengaluru’s Chinnasawamy stadium. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs Bangladesh, T20 World Cup 2016, Match 21 at Bengaluru

Australia failed to impress the audience in every department, be it batting or bowling. India s spin friendly conditions were hardly used up with newcomers Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa given just an over apiece against New Zealand. This was an ordinary performance from a team coming with T20 series victory against South Africa, away from their home conditions. However, Bangladesh come with tremendous experience in T20I and proved that they cannot be termed as just another team after being the runners-up in Asia Cup T20.

The third common factor remains the certain players from these teams have slight knowledge of playing conditions in India despite having an experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Yet, let s ponder upon the these teams with regards to Bangladesh batting line-up vs Australia bowling standards in T20I World Cup so far and where have the teams moved on from the previous editions:

1) Bangladesh batting legacy: Bangladesh might have been unsuccessful in World T20, but their batting prowess has been the highlight in every tournament so far. Mohammad Ashraful, captain in the inaugural edition of ICC World T20, played remarkable innings that are still etched in the memory. Moreover, he still remains the 6th Bangladeshi batsman to score with over 450 T20I runs. The next promising batsmen after Ashraful were Anamul Haque and Junaid Siddique. In fact, Siddique is yet another prolific batsman who is remembered for his 71-run knock in first World T20. Also read: T20 World Cup 2016: Australia s middle-order conundrum in T20Is

The new bunch has gone miles ahead with their recent performances in T20I form, with experience coming in from Asia Cup T20 2016 organised just ahead of this tournament. Tamim Iqbal, with his recent innings against Oman in qualifiers, keeps him as top batsman from Bangladesh with total T20I runs of 1,116. Shakib-Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s prime all-rounder, remains yet another cricketer posing the right calibre, and recently crossed the 1000-run mark against Pakistan in ICC World T20 2016. Mahmudullah s innings in Asia Cup T20 2016 against Pakistan will be talked for a long time. The current skipper and all-rounder, Mashrafe Mortaza, remains handy for Bangladesh in crunch situations with T20I experience since 2006. Though, there are rounds of his retirement doing rounds, he remains one of Bangladesh’s key performers.

2) Australia s bowling misery: Australia have dominated ODI as well as Test format, recently claiming the No.1 spot in Test rankings. But when it comes to T20Is, it is still the former bowlers who have maintained their prominence till date, barring Shane Watson who is Australia’s go-to bowler. Mitchell Johnson played right since the inaugural edition and his figures 3 for 15 still remain the best, until he decided to discontinue from T20I in 2013. On the contrary, Brett Lee has participated in two World T20s so far, until he left T20I cricket since 2012. But yet he remains third bowler from Australia with maximum wickets. From the spinners’ end, David Hussey is the first bowler to show amongst top 11, with best one coming from ICC World T20 2012 of 2 for 3.

The existing bowlers have not been at their best in T20I, as they haven’t been able to make an impact. Watson, though might not have been the first choice in Australia squad, deserves to be present in this tournament, given the experience and skills he possesses. Similarly, James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile, because of their total T20I wickets of 21 and 20 respectively, have been included in the squad. Although, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon could have created an impact in Australia s win in their first match. But Starc’s injury is a setback for Australia.

Spinners, such as Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar debuting in World T20I, were hardly given any chance against New Zealand in their first match. Glenn Maxwell remains the only experienced spinner after David Hussey to give Australia the impetus.

As these teams battle it out in Match No.22 of T20 World Cup 2016, Bangladesh could possibly outclass Australia. The past records in World T20 do favor Australia, but the way this tournament is moving, Bangladesh have a bright chance.

(Shruti Hariharan is Content Writer with CricketCountry. You can follow her on Twitter at @Shruti_2890)