Australia feeling the Ashes heat, Mushfiqur claims

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim claims Australia's decision not to announce their team until the start of the second Test is an indication Steve Smith's side feel under pressure ahead of the Ashes. 

The tourists lost a Test to the Tigers for the first time last week, going down by 20 runs in Dhaka.

Australia customarily reveal their line-up a day before each match but appear to still be weighing up their options going into the tour's second and final five-day contest, which starts in Chittagong on Monday.

"I think they are a bit under pressure because they have to win this match and they know how important it is before... the Ashes," the hosts' skipper Mushfiqur said. 

"They know they are under pressure, because normally they announce the XI [a day before the match]. In this case they haven't announced the XI.  

"But, the Australia team are very strong and they will come back hard. We know that. But our boys are also pretty fresh and they are very consistent in Chittagong."

Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade could be axed in favour of Peter Handscomb after conceding 30 byes at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, but Mushfiqur sympathised with his counterpart.

"It was a bit difficult to keep to be honest because on that track it's very hard," he said

"It [was] going up and down. In the subcontinent when the wicket is like this, it's very difficult.  

"I think that's their strategy. If he [Handscomb] keeps, probably they will go with more batsmen or one extra spin option.  

"So I think that's their decision."

Mushfiqur also issued an ominous warning to the visitors as Bangladesh target a first Test series victory against opponents other than Zimbabwe and West Indies.

"There is no way we will play safe cricket," he said.  

"We always play to win against every side.

"Safe cricket is not an option for us because you can't win against a side like this. 

"We have to be more aggressive than them." 

Read Full Story