Australia will face Bangladesh in the 43rd match of the ODI World Cup 2023 on Saturday. The AUS vs BAN game will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune from 2 PM IST onwards.
Having sealed a semifinal berth, a dominant Australia will look to continue their rampaging run when they face a Shakib Al Hasan-less Bangladesh in their final assignment before the knockout stage of the World Cup.
The five-time champions have been simply unstoppable, stream-rolling any team that has come their way in the last six meetings, while Bangladesh suffered the ignominy of being the first team to be eliminated from the ongoing showpiece.
Pat Cummins and Co. stormed into the semifinals on the back of one of the greatest ODI innings played by Glenn Maxwell. The all-rounder battled cramps to smash an unbeaten 201 off 128 balls to lift Australia from a precarious 91 for seven to the victory target of 292 against Afghanistan.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, just about managed to keep their 2025 Champions Trophy qualification hopes alive with a three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in an ill-tempered game which was overshadowed by the contentious ‘timed-out’ dismissal of Angelo Mathews.
The top eight teams, including hosts Pakistan, will make the cut for the 2025 event and eighth-placed Bangladesh will be desperate to win to hold on to their position inside top 8 in the standings.
Skipper Shakib was the top performer in their last match as he snapped two wickets, ignited the spirit of cricket debate by appealing against Mathews and then scored a 65-ball 82 to earn Bangladesh’s second win in the tournament.
However, he has been ruled out of the their last game with a fractured left index finger, leaving Bangladesh’s bowling depleted. Anamul Haque has been called up for the final match.
Najmul Hossain Shanto will take over the captaincy and it will be an tall task for him to inspire Bangladesh to stop Australia, who are riding high on their batting might.
Australia possess a dominating 19-1 record against Bangladesh in 21 ODIs and with a semifinal already assured, Cummins and Co. look favourite to seal their seventh win and carry the momentum into the knockout stage.