ICC World Twenty20

Australia confident of bouncing back

2016-03-20 16:02
Steve Smith (Gallo Images)

Bangalore - Australia will be determined to demolish underdogs Bangladesh in their World Twenty20 clash on Monday, to secure their first points in the group stages and increase their chances of reaching the semi-finals.

Steve Smith's side lost a thriller to New Zealand on Friday, in a big blow to their hopes of winning the T20 trophy that has so far proved elusive.

Australia also face Pakistan and then title favourites and world number one India in Group 2 -- and will likely need to overcome both to qualify for the semis.

Smith said he was sure his side could turn things around and defeat Bangladesh after the Black Caps edged past them on Friday thanks largely to tight bowling.

"Absolutely. We're still confident," Smith said of his side's title hopes.

Although Australia top the Test rankings and won their fifth 50-over World Cup last year, they have struggled in T20 cricket and have only made the World T20 final once, in 2010, when they lost to England.

Their chances were given a boost after the ICC announced on Saturday it was suspending Bangladesh's Arafat Sunny and Taskin Ahmed from bowling for illegal actions.

Off-spinner Sunny and fast bowler Ahmed were reported by the umpires during a preliminary stage WorldT20 match against the Netherlands.

Bangladesh also need a victory if they are to have any hopes of making the semi-finals, after being demolished by Pakistan in their first group stage match.

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and star batsman Tamin Iqbal were bright spots for Bangladesh in that match, scoring an unbeaten 50 and 24 respectively.

But Bangladesh, ranked 10th, have a rotten record in the World T20 -- despite their recent improvements in 50-over cricket -- and have not beaten Australia in any of their three previous World T20 clashes.


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