Mashrafe: Senior players must step up against Aussies

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza expects their senior players to play vital roles if they are to topple Australia in the upcoming Test series.

The Tigers will host the Aussies for two Test matches, the first getting underway in Mirpur on 27 August with the second Test scheduled to start on 4 September in Chittagong.

The 33-year-old Mashrafe, who played the last of his 36 Tests in 2009, feels it is important that Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah lead the way in the batting department if they want to beat Australia.

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Mashrafe told ESPNcricinfo: “I expect our four senior players to put a price on their wicket. They must put up a statement in the middle that the young players can follow.

“Tamim is in the best form of his career. He and Imrul Kayes can provide a good start. We have Shakib and [Mehidy Hasan] in our spin department.

“If one of the fast bowlers have a good spell of three or four wickets, there will be a possibility for us. These will be expected when the situation arises in the match.”

Mashrafe has been part of a national training camp for the last five weeks to prepare for the Australia series and says he can feel the players are more confident in the longest format after encouraging results over the last year.

The Tigers have beaten Sri Lanka (away) and England (home) over the last 10 months and their ODI skipper is expecting big things from his countrymen in Test whites.

Mashrafe continued: “More important than winning or losing is their mentality. I am witnessing in the dressing room that their mindset is setting them apart from previous teams, and they are in the making of bigger things in the next two years.

“It is encouraging enough to think that they will fight, which is a better expectation than only hoping for a result. This has also been their best preparation ahead of any Test series.”