Australia will battle to avoid a major embarrassment when they take on Bangladesh in the second and final Test of the two-match series starting in Chittagong on Monday, September 4. Steve Smith's men were beaten in the first match in Dhaka by 20 runs, thereby becoming the first Australian side to lose a Test against the Asian side.
The Australians will become only the third international team after West Indies and Zimbabwe to lose a Test series against Bangladesh if they lose in Chittagong. A defeat will also mean Smith's men will slip to sixth in ICC rankings, Australia's worst-ever.
With rain continuously lashing the city and thunderstorms predicted on each day of the second Test, Bangladesh won't even have to work hard for a historic series win. Notably, heavy rain lashed Chittagong when Australia arrived in the city on Friday, September 1.
Not the ideal lead-up to the series
Smith's men headed to Bangladesh on the back of turmoil Down Under due to the pay dispute between the cricket board and the players. Their record in Asia was also a cause of concern as they were blanked 3-0 in Sri Lanka in 2016 before they were beaten 2-1 by India earlier this year.
To add to their woes, their only warm-up game in Mirpur was cancelled due to flooding. The effect was there to be seen in the first Test as Australia were bowled out for 217, in reply to Bangladesh's first innings score of 260.
Despite a fighting ton from David Warner in the fourth innings, Australia succumbed to a 20-run defeat, thanks to Shakib Al Hasan's 10-wicket haul in the match.
The second Test will start at the Zahur Ahmed Choudhury Stadium, Chittagong on Monday from 10am local time, 9:30am IST, 4am GMT.
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports SELECT 1, Star Sports Hindi SELECT HD 1. Live streaming: Hotstar
Pakistan: TV: PTV Sports, Ten Sports. Live streaming: PTV Sports Official Youtube
Bangladesh: TV: Gazi TV (GTV)
UK: TV: BT Sport Live streaming: BT Sport online
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live streaming: Foxtel Go
South Africa: TV: SuperSport
USA: TV: Willow TV
The world number one all-rounder will once again be key to Bangladesh's chances in the Chittagong Test. Australia will have to find out ways to tackle the spin trio of Shakib, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam or perish once again.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim is unlikely to tinker with the winning combination despite the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes failing to trouble the scorers much in Dhaka.
Three spinners and only one pacer?
On the other hand, Australia will have a lot to ponder over ahead of the all-important encounter. With Josh Hazlewood out of the second Test owing to side strain, Australia are reportedly mulling at playing three spinners after the late addition of Steve O'Keefe, who decimated India in the Pune Test earlier this year with figures of 12 for 70.
While coach Darren Lehmann has maintained that the team combination will be decided after having a look at the Chittagong wicket, O'Keefe is likely to join the likes of Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar as Australia are preparing to go with only one pacer -- Pat Cummins.
There is also pressure on Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade, both of whom failed miserably in Dhaka. Peter Handscomb is reportedly in line to double up as the wicketkeeper as Australia might be tempted to play Hilton Cartwright, who also is a part-time medium-pace bowler.
Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim(c), Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed
Squad: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith(c), Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Steve O'Keefe, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Mitchell Swepson