Two matches in T20 WC today
BARBADOS: Two matches would be played today in Twenty20 World Cup; first one to be played between top favourite Australia and Bangladesh and second between South Africa and minnows Afghanistan.
Australia are looking to line up an all-pace attack to crush Bangladesh on a bouncy Kensington Oval wicket here in their second league match of the World Twenty20 Wednesday.
Australia outclassed Pakistan in their first match and are keen to pick an extra pacer in Ryan Harris at the cost of a slow bowler on a track they feel will assist pace and bounce unlike the slow surfaces at St Lucia and Guyana.
Australian coach Tim Nielsen said Harris, who has replaced an injured Brett Lee in the squad, could join speedsters Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson.
"I don''t think there''s a risk in doing it (playing Harris)," Nielsen said.
"The conditions in Barbados will suit our quicks, so I hope they (Bangaldesh) have been practising against fast bowling."
Nielsen said they would like to try out their bench strength before the important Super Eight matches.
"We have played in St Lucia, we''re in Barbados for a couple of games and then hopefully back in St Lucia for the semi-finals and then back in Barbados for the final.
"We had to think about those things initially. All the players are preparing well enough that even the four guys that didn''t play in the first game could slot in quite easily and fulfil the role they were selected for," Nielsen was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons, however, feels Australia would commit a mistake if they play an extra pacer.
"We''ve played practice matches here. There''s nothing lightning quick about it."
"They can talk it up as much as they like. It will be quicker than most other wickets, definitely quicker than St Lucia. But it''s also spinning and that will suit us," said Siddons.
If Harris is included, then their leg-spinning all-rounder Steven Smith may have to go out.
For Bangladesh to qualify to the Super Eight stage, they will have to beat Australia by a big margin. Bangladesh gave a good fight to Pakistan after being set to chase 171 runs but fell short by 21 runs.
As for Australia, it would be important for them to keep the momentum going after getting off to a good start with a 34-run win over defending champions Pakistan.
"We have got a good squad and the important thing would be to adapt to conditions. The players have done well in format in the last couple of months and we are motivated to perform better in Twenty20 cricket," Clarke said.
Nielsen said they are not taking Bangladesh lightly as they have the potential to wreck their ship.
"We''re aware that Bangladesh probably could have won their game against Pakistan. They got to a situation where they needed 50 runs off five overs and a lot of teams have done that before."
On the other hand, defeats against India have put Afghanistan and South Africa in sudden-death mode going into their floodlit clash in Barbados on Wednesday. Left to rue lapses in the field and a delayed surge with wickets in hand in St Lucia, South Africa now have an opportunity to set things right with a clinical performance and progress into the Super Eights.
The conditions in Bridgetown, generally supportive of fast bowling, should encourage their seam-strong attack against an opposition whose weakness against the short ball was exposed by Ashish Nehra. Afghanistan impressed in small doses, but with just two batsmen reaching double-figures in a score of 115 they had little to fight for against the Indian batting line-up.
Afghanistan''s struggles off the field, and their success against the odds on it, have contributed to a general eagerness among cricket fans to see them do well. In a tougher scenario, against a determined South Africa in a must-win game, they have another chance to win hearts, and they would want to do that with a more collective effort.