Australia planning to nullify Shakib threat, says Carey

Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey says the defending champion will target Bangladesh dangerman Shakib Al Hasan when the two sides meet at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Shakib’s brilliant century helped the Tigers complete the second-highest World Cup chase in a seven-wicket win over the West Indies in Taunton on Monday.

The 32-year-old allrounder, who is the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 384 runs, also hit a century against England earlier in the tournament and has been among the wickets.

When Bangladesh beat Australia in a 2005 one-day international in Cardiff, it was widely regarded as one of the biggest upsets in cricket history.

But the side is now an established force and, having beaten both South Africa and the West Indies already at this tournament, it is pushing for a semi-final berth.

“We’ve obviously put our time into Shakib and all the players at the top of the order as well as their bowling,” Carey said on Wednesday.

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“He’s in probably career-best form with the white ball. So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and I guess out there we’ll assess the conditions as well.

“We leave that up to the bowlers and the captain to do that, but he’s one guy we want to get out early.”

Australia, despite a defeat by India, appear to be well on course for a semi-final berth, with four wins from its five matches in the 10-team round-robin phase so far.

But wicketkeeper-batsman Carey said there was still room for improvement from the defending champion.

“We obviously like to take wickets up front, there have been times we probably would have liked to finish off innings with the bat,” he said.

“Although we’re getting results, we’re still striving hard to try to find that perfect game and put a full 50 or 100 overs together. But the guys are working really hard and we’re aware of the areas to keep improving.”

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All-rounder Marcus Stoinis could return at Trent Bridge on Thursday after missing Australia’s past two matches with a side strain.

“It will be great to have Stoinis to come back into the side,” said Carey. “And I know he’s worked really hard off the ground to be ready to go, and he’s smacking the ball in the net. It will be exciting to get him back out there.”

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