4 Sep 2017

Aussies 'doomed' ahead of second Bangladesh test

6:58 am on 4 September 2017

Australia will head into the second Test against Bangladesh with an unsettled line-up and an unfavourable weather forecast that threatens to doom them to a humbling series defeat.

Heavy rain and storms have lashed Chittagong on the southeast coast in the build up to Monday's second Test, and they are expected to continue throughout the week.

Australia captain Steve Smith

Australia captain Steve Smith Photo: Photosport

It is the first time a Test match has been scheduled for the port city in September, deep within the monsoon season, and there is every chance it will prove impossible to produce a result.

The uncertain weather has contributed to Australia's selection headaches as they fight desperately to square the ledger against a Bangladesh side ranked ninth in the world.

Australia will add at least one bowler to replace the injured Josh Hazlewood but the need to take wickets within a potentially limited window could tempt selectors into further tweaks.

Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.

Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. Photo: Photosport

Skipper Steve Smith confirmed that selectors were still weighing up whether to axe wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and hand the gloves to part-timer Peter Handscomb.

Handscomb wore the gloves at training which Smith had earlier declared would be enough preparation should selectors choose to go down that radical path.

Usman Khawaja also struggled with the bat in Dhaka and is no certainty to retain his No.3 position.

If either Wade or Khawaja is dumped, Hilton Cartwright could come into the side to provide another batting option and support Pat Cummins with his medium pace.

That would pave the way for Steve O'Keefe to play as a third spinner and replace Hazlewood ahead of paceman Jackson Bird.

Smith confirmed the final XI would not be named until the toss, with the weather likely to influence the final call.

"It certainly can come into it," Smith said.

"I don't think the forecast is great for the first day tomorrow, so we might turn up to the ground and it be raining and we may need to change our decision again."

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim suggested the uncertainty about Australia's line-up, and particularly the wicketkeeping position, was a sign the visitors were under pressure.

"They know they are under pressure, because normally they announce the XI," Mushfiqur said.

"It is a morale boost. They are probably under pressure but it doesn't mean they will lose. They are a professional side so they know what they have to do.

"But they have also figured out that we are quite dangerous too. They now understand that they must plan well against us."

A 2-0 series defeat would send Australia tumbling to No.6 on the world Test rankings.

Bangladesh's only previous series wins have come against Zimbabwe on two occasions and a badly-weakened West Indies in 2009.