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Emboldened Bangladesh a challenge for Australia, says Hussey

Cricket

A burgeoning sense of self-belief has powered Bangladesh’s recent rise, with the hosts no longer intimidated by Australia.

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Steve Smith’s side departs today for a two-Test series in Bangladesh that starts on August 27.

It is already clear they will encounter a far more determined, resilient and talented outfit than the team that became trivia night fodder in 2006 when nightwatchman Jason Gillespie scored an unbeaten double century.

Bangladesh have recorded maiden Test wins over Sri Lanka and England during the past year.

There have also been some impressive performances in the shorter formats, including a semi-final berth in the Champions Trophy.

Mike Hussey, who shared a 320-run stand with Gillespie in the match that went down in folklore, believes Bangladesh will be a tricky proposition on turning tracks.

“It’ll be a good series, a really challenging series for Australia. Bangladesh play their conditions well and they’ve improved a lot,” Hussey said.

“They’ve got a lot more belief now. They have been challenging some of the best teams around the world.

“If you believe you can compete and win, that’s half the battle in international cricket. For many years I don’t think they really had that belief.

“And they’ve got players in their squad now who have been around for long periods of time, so they understand their own games a lot better.”

Habibul Bashar, who captained Bangladesh during the 2006 series and is now a selector for the Tigers, recently expressed similar sentiments.

Bashar pointed to his side’s breakthrough 108-run win over England last year as cause for confidence.

“There is a difference between now and then, as this current side has already established themselves as a big force in world cricket,” Bashar told The Daily Star.

“Difference in experience, difference in number of match-winners… difference in the reality that the team has the world’s No.1 allrounder (Shakib Al Hasan) in their arsenal.

“Their home win against England has simply changed the whole scenario.

“They were trying to find their footing (in 2006); now in 2017 winning is their only motto.”

-AAP

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