In its 3 years since being awarded test status in 2000, Bangladesh have never played Australia in a test match before this. When the Bangladeshis will step on to the field at the Marrara Oval in Darwin on 18th July 2003, that is going to be the first instance of Bangladesh playing Australia in a test match.
Australia, the so-called best team in test cricket have been found impossible to beat even by strong teams like South Africa and New Zealand. It was only India, who were able to beat them 2-1 in the famous home series in 2001 and that has been the only test series Australia has lost since the series against Sri Lanka in 1999. Australia also had a recoed 16 consecutive test wins in that period. They will we looking forward to beat Bangladesh very badly during the series and it will be the toughest challenge of their lives for the Tigers who havent won any of the 19 tests played so far. The former Australian players are also trying their best to decrease the confidence of the Bangladeshi players and to make them underprepared both on and off the field. The comments made by David Hookes have been the most hurting to a Bangladeshi cricket fan and the players as well and it is up to the players to prove the comments wrong and live up to their tag of Tigers.
For Bangladesh, they are the team who are under no-pressure and are the rank underdogs or the minnows and no one expects Bangladesh to even draw a test match, forget winning any of them. With the series result being virtually known with Australia to win both the tests unless there is a divine miracle for Bangladesh. At best what Bangladesh can hope is to play better than what Pakistan played last year against Australia. Even though Pakistan lost 3-0 in that series, they didnt even throw up a fight against the mighty aussies. The confidence of the Bangladeshis would be high after winning 2 consecutive warm-up matches against CBCA and NTCM and also the bowlers rediscovering their form, watching the bowlers bowl in the first test can be intresting. Bowling out Australia for less than 300 can be a great achievement as I wrote in one of my posts.
The weak point of Bangladesh has been the batting and Bangladesh always seem to fall a few runs short, no matter whatsoever target they are given. Even in the warm-up matches, the Bangladeshi batsmen couldnt post up any total above 250, which is not a good sign. Even in the world-cup, Bangladeshs highest score was a meagre 198/7 against New Zealand and that was the only time the Bangladeshi batsmen played out their full 50 overs showing the tremendous lack of patience in the batsmen. Its only the new coach for Bangladesh, Dav Whatmore who has begun a bit of transformation in the players. The Bangladeshi players now have started to believe that they can win the matches, and this belief was sleeping in the players minds earlier with no genuine coach. With a new coach in Dav Whatmore, the Tigers are starting to discover their full-strength and the day is not far away when Bangladesh will start winning test matches and ODIs.