Bangladesh will present more of a problem for Australia on Thursday than just in-form all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, according to their captain Mashrafe Mortaza.
Shakib will go into the game at Trent Bridge as the tournament’s leading scorer with 384, ahead of the likes of Aaron Finch and Joe Root despite having played one innings fewer.
Back-to-back centuries followed two half-centuries in Bangladesh’s first two games, while five wickets have fallen in four matches to his left-arm spin.
Australia are making plans to get rid of Shakib early, according to Australia’s Alex Carey, but Mortaza has warned even that outcome is no guarantee of success given useful contributions so far from the rest of the side.
Pacemen Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin have 16 wickets between them, Mehedi Hasan has five, while Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar and Mushifiqur Rahim have all chipped in to various degrees with the bat.
“I won’t say Bangladesh is a one-man army,” Mortaza told reporters on the eve of the game, with Bangladesh aiming to build on their second win of the tournament against West Indies. “Shakib is scoring runs, that’s a great thing for the team, but if you look at it the other boys have stepped up too.
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) June 19, 2019
“Mustafiz took two wickets in the last match. We have had Tamim and Soumya starting well. Mushfiqur is batting well. Mehidy is bowling well.
“But Shakib is an exceptional cricketer. He’s playing at his best at the moment. We really appreciate what Shakib is doing, but it will be great to see the others continuing what they are also doing.”