Former Australia batsman Stuart Law warned Thursday that rookie skipper Steve Smith and his new charges would have a real fight on their hands from fast-improving Bangladesh in their upcoming two-Test series.
Law, a former coach of the Bangladesh national team who is now advising their under-19s, said the world champions would be in for a rude shock if they took victory over cricket’s traditional whipping boys for granted.
“If Bangladesh play anywhere near what they have been in recent times, they will give Australia a real fright,” Law told reporters.
“People who are expecting Australia to come here and be the big bully and beat Bangladesh out of the stadium, don’t think that’s the case.
“Bangladesh will be ready for a fight.”
The series – Smith’s first since taking over as permanent Test captain from Michael Clarke – begins on October 9 in Chittagong while the second Test begins on October 17 in Dhaka.
While Bangladesh have never beaten Australia in a Test match, the Tigers are on a high after series victories over Pakistan, India and South Africa in ODI cricket since the start of the year.
Smith is captaining a new-look squad after Clarke, wicket keeper Brad Haddin, opening batsman Chris Rogers and all rounder Shane Watson retired after Australia lost the Ashes in England last month.
The squad, which is due to arrive in Dhaka on September 28, includes 30-year-old paceman Andrew Fekete and 22-year-old batsman Cameron Bancroft who are both yet to play Test cricket.
“Australia are going through rebuilding. It is a different look team,” said Law who played 54 one-day internationals for Australia as well as starring for English county side Lancashire.
“The amount of experience that has left the team recently is a huge hole to fill.”
Law warned his compatriots about Bangladesh’s hot and humid conditions, saying it would not be easy for them to adapt.
“Understand it will be hot. The ball will turn and another big stepping stone would be to get used to the lifestyle here,” he said.
“They have a lot of hurdles to jump over. Bangladesh has to play good cricket. It will be tight.”
Bangladesh have played and lost all four of their previous Tests against Australia, three of them by an innings.