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Bangladesh seek improvement against Australia

Written by: Staff
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FATULLAH, Bangladesh, Apr 8 (Reuters) Bangladesh are no longer content with mere survival against Australia and will look to put in a convincing display in their two-test series, said skipper Habibul Bashar today.

The world's top test side will begin their maiden test tour of Bangladesh on Sunday in good form following last week's historic 3-0 series rout of South Africa.

Bangladesh suffered innings defeats in their only two previous tests against Australia on their 2003 tour, the first of which lasted only 2 days.

''When we played our first series against Australia, our target was to survive. But now (we) want to perform convincingly,'' Bashar told a news conference.

''Australia is a very good team, but in the past we have played against some good teams as well. So there is nothing to be scared of.'' Bangladesh have lost 37 of 42 tests played since earning test status in 2000. Their only test victory came against a depleted Zimbabwe last year.

Bashar said it was important for his players to be sharp in every aspect of the game if they were to achieve a decent result.

''We have to give our best efforts in all three departments of batting, bowling and fielding if we want a good result against the Australians,'' he said.

The series is likely to be disrupted by tropical rainstorms that occur frequently in Bangladesh between March and May.

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore said they were leaning towards two spinners before a third seamer due to the pitch condition.

''We make a decision based on what might happen. I saw a dry pitch and it suggested both the spinners (Mohammad Rafique and Enamul Haque Jr) have a good chance to do well,'' Whatmore said.

Whatmore also highlighted the absence of an all-rounder in the side as a problem.

''The ideal makeup is to have an all-rounder in the side, at the moment we haven't got that.'' The second test will be played in Chittagong from April 16, followed by three one-dayers in Chittagong (April 23) and Fatullah (April 26 and 28).

REUTERS DH PC1547

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