The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Langer: Crucial for cricket
- Series vs Bangladesh

Darwin: It may have the look of the biggest mis-match in cricket history but opening batsman Justin Langer says Australia’s two-Test series against modest Bangladesh is important for cricket.

Despite Bangladesh’s woeful Test record, Langer said he looked forward to the series between the world’s top and bottom-ranked teams, which starts at Marrara Oval here on Friday.

“I will certainly be respectful to the Bangladeshis, they’ve earned the right to play Test cricket,” Langer said here on Tuesday. Bangladesh have endured 18 losses and one rained-out draw in their 19 Tests.

“I’m looking forward to (it), particularly playing in Darwin and Cairns, it’s a good opportunity for cricket.

“It’s great for cricket in general. I think it’s important not to look at your own backyard, but it’s always a bigger picture.

“It’s great to have Bangladesh playing a Test match against Australia.”

In contrast to Bangladesh’s struggling start to Test status, the top-ranked Australians have won 285 of their 640 Tests with 174 losses, 179 draws and two ties.

Langer said he didn’t know much about his opposition before the series which concludes with the second Test in Cairns, in north Queensland, starting on July 25.

“We’ve got our first team meeting Wednesday, so I’m sure we will have video footage and plenty of information about them,” he said.

“I’ve never played against them before. I’m sure in our preparations, come Friday morning I’ll know a fair bit about them.”

He said the Darwin drop-in pitch looked magnificent ahead of the venue’s Test debut. “The wicket looks nice and flat,” he said. “I’ve played at a lot worse Test stadiums. It’s going to be a great place to play.”

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