ICC Champions Trophy: Australia vs Bangladesh - What we learned

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Starc showed glimpses of his best [Getty Images]

Rain played spoilsport as Australia and Bangladesh had to share points in their fixture on Monday at the Kennington Oval, London.

Here’s what we learned from the match.

AUSTRALIA’S NEW-BALL BOWLERS MEND THIR WAY

Australian captain Steve Smith was furious with his wayward bowling pack against New Zealand. The Kiwis powered to 291 in 45 overs and then had the Aussies on the backfoot at 53-3 in 9.3 overs when rain stopped play.

“I thought it was one of the worst bowling displays that we’ve put on for a long time. It was pretty ordinary,” Smith said after the game.

Stung by the skipper’s outburst, the bowlers came out all guns firing and dished out a much improved display. The comparative figures of the top three pacers from the two games gives a much clearer picture.

Against the Kiwis, the pacers’ analysis read: Mitchell Starc 9-0-52-0, Josh Hazlewood 9-0-52-6, Pat Cummins 9-0-67-1. In contrast, their figures on Monday were: Starc 8.3-2-29-4, Hazlewood 10-0-40-1, Cummins 8-1-22-1.

No wonder Starc was beaming during the break and did not forget his captain’s comments: “Hopefully the skipper is happy with that (performance) or he might get a few short ones.”

Having mended their ways, the Aussie bowling is gaining in strength just in time for the tougher challenges ahead.

STARC’S BACK IN THE HUNT

The last one-day international Starc played before this tournament was four months ago in New Zealand. Understandably, he was rusty and it showed in his first match against New Zealand where he went wicketless.

However, it didn’t take long for the Starc of old to return and knock the stuffing out of Bangladesh’s sails. He struck in the 43rd over by claiming three wickets from four balls just when Bangaldesh were looking to add some quick runs.

He started with a short ball that Tamim Iqbal top edged to long leg for fellow pacer Hazlewood to complete a neat catch diving forward. The next two wickets – came off trademark Starc deliveries, quick and yorker length that crashed into the stumps with the batsmen Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain clueless.

From 181-6, Bangladesh lost the last four wickets for the addition of just one run with Starc claiming all four.

TAMIM IQBAL, THE LONE RANGER

Bangladesh are leaving too much on opener Tamim Iqbal’s plate with the rest providing almost no support at all. At the Oval on Monday, apart from his chanceless 95 off 114 balls, the contribution from the rest of the batting lineup was negligible.

The second highest score was 29 by Shakib Al Hasan with only three batsmen, Iqbal included, attaining double figures.

Against England too, he was the top scorer with 128 runs. In that game, Mushfiqur Rahim (79) was an able foil but the next highest was Soumya Sarkar’s 28.

The poor batting display against the Aussies saw Bangladesh being bowled out for a paltry 182 in 44.3 overs on a surface that was good for batting. Worse, they failed to last out 50 overs which meant when rain intervened for the first time, their innings was over.

It was an ordinary effort from a team that had made the cut for the tournament with some stirring victories against big teams.

ZAMPA STEPS UP

It was the same surface where Imran Tahir took four wickets against Sri Lanka on Saturday, so there was an air of excitement about how Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa would fare in his first Champions Trophy game.

The 25-year-old was introduced very late in the innings, in the 35th over, with an intention to curb the attacking instincts of the Bangladesh batsmen. Although he didn’t have much to do, he was quite effective during his short spell.

He picked up a wicket with his third ball and started off with a wicket maiden before claiming one more to finish with solid figures of 4-1-13-2.

It was a good outing for 2016’s top wicket-taker in ODIs (30 wickets from 19 games) and that sets him up nicely for the game(s) ahead.

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Australia put up an improved performance but rain has the final word

Australia were left frustrated after their Champions Trophy match against Bangladesh was abandoned due to rain at the Kennington Oval, London on Monday.

This is the second successive match for Australia that has been washed out at the tournament so far, which means that they have two points on the board from two games while Bangladesh have one point.

While the Aussies would have considered themselves fortunate to have got a point against New Zealand, they will be disappointed that they weren’t able to get a result here as they looked in complete control of the match.

When the rain came down, Australia were 83-1 in 16 overs, chasing a target of 183. Only four more overs were required to get a result via the D/L/S method, but it wasn’t to be.

Earlier, a much-improved bowling display from Australia saw them bowl out Bangladesh for 182. Tamim Iqbal was the most impressive of the batsmen for the Tigers once again as he fell just five runs short of a second hundred in the tournament.

Mitchell Starc looked to be back to his best as he took the Bangladesh lower-order to the cleaners, taking four wickets as the Asian side went from 181-6 to 182 all out.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who came into the Australian playing eleven after being left out for the fixture against New Zealand, registered bowling figures of 2-13 from four overs.

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ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match preview - Group A: England vs New Zealand

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Which captain will come out on top?

ENGLAND FOCUS

Coming into the Champions Trophy as one of the favourites, England’s batting stepped up to the mark in their opening fixture against Bangladesh as they chased down a target of 306 without much of a fuss.

The bowling will be a bit of a concern though, especially with Chris Woakes ruled out of the tournament due to a side strain.

England decided to leave out Adil Rashid in the opening encounter and it won’t be a surprise at all if the leg-spinner comes into the playing eleven for this game.

In the clash between the two sides at the ICC World Cup two years ago, England were thrashed by the Blackcaps, but Eoin Morgan feels that it’s a completely different situation now.

“They were one of the favourites going into the (World Cup) tournament and proved that against us that day in Wellington,” the England skipper said.

“It was sort of men against boys. But I think it’s completely different now, two years down the line. We’ve got a completely new team, pretty much.”

NEW ZEALAND FOCUS

New Zealand began their Champions Trophy campaign with a good performance against Australia and will consider themselves unlucky to have not got the win after the match was abandoned due to rain.

Kane Williamson was in top form in that game as he notched up his ninth ODI century and fast bowler Trent Boult was full of praise for the Blackcaps captain.

“He’s (Williamson) arguably the calmest man alive,” said Boult.

There will be some pressure on the Kiwis as they know that a defeat here will seriously hamper their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

DATE, TIME, VENUE INFO

Date: Tuesday – June 6, 2017

Time: 13:30 GST, 10:30 local, 09:30 GMT, 15:00 IST, 14:30 PKT

Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

WHERE TO WATCH, LIVE STREAMING INFO

TV: UAE – OSN Sports Cricket HD

Full coverage on Sport360.com.

CONFIRMED ENGLAND XI: Roy, Hales, Root, Morgan (c), Buttler (wk), Stokes, Ali, Rashid, Plunkett, Ball, Wood.

CONFIRMED NEW ZEALAND XI: Guptill, Ronchi (wk), Williamson (c), Taylor, Broom, Anderson, Neesham, Santner, Milne, Southee, Boult.

SPORT360 MATCH PREDICTION: England go into the match as favourites, but you cannot rule out New Zealand from any contest. The weather could have a say in the match proceedings as well.

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