| Waugh reiterates world should support Bangla
Cairns: Australia captain Steve Waugh says he is considering throwing Bangladesh’s inexperienced batsmen to the wolves on a fast-paced wicket if he wins the toss in Friday’s second Test.
The game’s most-capped player said facing Brett Lee at 150 km an hour on a lively deck on Queensland’s tropical far north coast was a welcome opportunity for Bangladesh to discover just how many of their players were Test match quality.
“There’s a chance we’ll bowl on that wicket. There’s a bit of grass there,” Waugh said on Thursday.
“We like to attack as a general rule and we’ve got some good bowlers. But I don’t mind what we do at the toss.
“I’m not going to predict that (Bangladesh batsmen suffering injuries) but I expect us to go hard. I’m not going to predict carnage, but it’ll be a very good test for the Bangladesh batsmen,” Waugh said.
Australia won the inaugural Test between the two nations by an innings and 132 runs in Darwin last week on a slow-paced wicket, handing the Asian nation their 19th loss (plus one draw) from 20 matches since gaining Test status three years ago.
Lee, one of the world’s fastest bowlers, has described the Cairns wicket as a genuine “green top”.
Asked about Waugh’s comment that Bangladesh’s players would benefit from being tested in tough conditions, coach Dav Whatmore said: “Yes I agree with that.”
However, Whatmore said Bangladesh needed to be careful about assessing players on this tour, given the fact they were playing the top-ranked side.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to work out batting has been the biggest problem facing the side,” he said.
Waugh continued to stress world cricket should support Bangladesh rather than criticise their performances, while sounding a warning for the tourists. “People expect Bangladesh to improve from the first Test but I expect us to improve more,” Waugh said.
Australia: Steve Waugh (captain), Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Darren Lehmann, Martin Love, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath.
Bangladesh (from): Khaled Mahmud (captain), Javed Omar, Hannan Sarkar, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful, Khaled Mashud, Al-Sahariar, Mashrafe Mortaza, Tapash Baisya, Alok Kopali, Monjural Islam, Sanwar Hossain, Mohammad Rafique, Anwar Hossain, Tareq Aziz.
‘Don’t write them off’
Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has warned that Bangladesh will be an improved side after their first series against Australia. “Don’t write them off,” Latif said on Thursday.
“Their record until now is not exactly impressive. But after playing against Australia I think they will be a changed and improved side.” Bangladesh arrive on August 13 in Karachi to play three Tests and five ODIs.
“I think critics have been a bit unfair on them,” Latif added. “Don’t forget they didn’t have the sort of domestic cricket structure or talent that Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe had when they were admitted to Test cricket.