Aus look to maintain momentum ahead of knockout stages

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 Australia will be looking to maintain their momentum ahead of the knockout stages when they tackle a Bangladesh side already out of the race for the semifinal places here on Saturday.

Australia have now won six matches on the trot at the World Cup and will be keen to make it seven in a row prior to a cut-throat semifinal with South Africa next week.

That fixture might already be locked in, but don’t expect Australia to ease up against Bangladesh as they will want to enter the winner-takes-all encounter with the Proteas with even more momentum than they currently have.

Openers David Warner and Travis Head missed out against Afghanistan last start and will be keen for a big score, while in-form spinner Adam Zampa has the lure of becoming the leading wicket-taker at the tournament if he can register another big haul.

While out of contention for a semi-final berth, Bangladesh can move closer to ensuring qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in 2025 with a win here.

Their task will not be easy though with inspirational skipper Shakib Al Hasan sidelined with a finger issue and the likes of stand-in skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto will need to step up in his absence.

Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is in imperious form and his amazing double-century against Afghanistan in Mumbai only showed the impact he can have when on song.

Maxwell smashed an unbeaten 201* from just 128 deliveries and looks like being Australia’s wildcard during the closing stages of the World Cup as they chase an unprecedented sixth title.

With fellow veteran Shakib Al Hasan ruled out for this match due to injury, it will be up to Litton Das to provide the leadership and direction required to guide the young Bangladesh side around.

Das has had a relatively quiet World Cup campaign to date with just 248 runs at an average of 31 and the 29-year-old will be keen to finish on a high with a big score against the powerful Australia line-up.

Squads

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.

Bangladesh squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Litton Kumer Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Anamul Haque, Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.

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