After some intense preparation over the past few weeks, the upcoming series against Australia is now just around the corner and the Tigers will begin the final phase of their training camp at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium today after completing a fruitful outing in Chittagong.
Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha may have already chalked out the team combination and game plan to tackle the Aussies, with the final squad for the first Test in Mirpur likely to be announced this week. Before that however the selectors are going to announce the team for the two-day practice match against Australia, which is slated to begin on August 22 at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.
However, with monsoon in full swing, the venue is water-logged and in no condition to host a cricket match. According to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) media committee chairman Jalal Yunus, they have selected venues at the BKSP and Sylhet if Fatullah cannot host the game. A decision regarding the venue will be finalised after the meeting with the three member Australian security team who will arrive on August 15.
"Australia's security team will arrive here in Dhaka on August 15. It will be settled after talking with them. If Fatullah is not possible, we will try to play it another venue," Jalal told reporters in Mirpur yesterday.
On the other hand there were also questions over the venue of the first Test -- the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium -- as the outfield is yet to be prepared. However, Jalal was confident that the preparations would be complete before the first Test begins on August 27.
"There are some days left for the series. There is talk about grass on the stadium, but barring grass everything is okay. The Test will be played here. By that time [August 27], Mirpur will be ready," he added.
Meanwhile the Tigers' management will once again look to take advantage of home conditions and, according to the sources, the pitches are expected to be similar to how they were against England last year, with low and slow decks offering a lot of purchase for spinners.
It is unlikely that Hathurusingha will tinker with the previous line-up of Shakib Al Hasan, Mehedi Hasan and Taijul Islam in the spin bowling department.
Earlier, BCB president Nazmul Hassan had announced that they were in talks with former Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill and hoped to bring him in as a spin bowling coach for three months. However, Jalal informed that there were some clearance issues with regards to the Australian and it was not confirmed whether he would join the Tigers. He also added that former Sri Lankan pacer Champaka Ramanayake would join as the new bowling coach for BCB's High performance unit this month.
"There is an issue of clearance regarding McGill. It is tough to tell when he will come. On the other hand, Ramanayake has a chance to come here this month," he said.