In its 17 years since being granted International status in 1986, Bangladesh and Australia have played each other in ODIs just 3 times and all of them have been in Multi-national tournaments. The first match of the ODI series at Cairns on 2nd August would be only the 4th instance of Bangladesh and Australia playing against each other in an ODI match. In the 3 previous matches between the two nations, no surprise, Australia have won all 3 of them with Bangladesh batting first in all of them.
The first of those matches took place in 1990 at Sharjah, UAE in the Australasia cup with Bangladesh losing by 7 wickets after scoring 134/8 in their alloted 50 overs. In the next match, played during the World Cup in 1999 at Chester-Le-Street in England, Bangladesh improved a bit as Bangladesh managed to score 178/7 before going down by 7 wickets again. Their worst performance against the Aussies was yet to come. In 2002, during the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh managed only 129 in 45.2 overs and unlike the previous 2 instances, got all out for the first time against Australia making their lowest score against them. Australia won this match by 9 wickets. In each of the 3 matches, Australia have chased the targets comfortably within 20-25 overs showing the weakness of the Bangladesh bowling.
For the Bangladesh players, this will be a tough series and a test of their abilities and the Bangladesh, if they have to live up to their reputation, have to throw up respectable performances in each of the 3 matches. Bangladesh are yet to win a match after their 1999 victory over Pakistan and havent won any of their last 35 ODIs with reaching their lowest point, earlier this year in the world cup match against minnows Canada which Bangladesh lost by 60 runs. Bangladesh, with Dave Whatmore, have shown some signs of improvement over the last month, winning the warm-ups and scoring 295 in the 2nd test, but it is not enough. There are still wide differences between the level of Bangladesh and the top test-playing nations. In this series, at most what can be expected is for Bangladesh to get atleast 200 runs in the matches which is possible enough, considering the fact that Bangladesh made 295 in the 1st innings of the second test match. For the batting, the 2 youngsters, Alok Kapali and Mohammed Ashraful havent done much of notable performances and have contributed poorly. The better batting performances have come from Hannan sarkar and Habibul Bashar and these 4 players are going to be the batsmen to look out for. In the bowling department, Mashrafe-Bin-Mortaza has been in excellent form and so has been Tapash Baisya and these 2 will be the bowlers to watch out for.
Highest Score by Bangladesh : 178/7 (50 overs), Chester-Le-Street, 1999
Lowest Score by Bangladesh : 129 all out (45.2 overs), Colombo SSC, 2002/03
Highest Indivudual Score for Bangladesh : Minhajul Abedin, 53*(99b,6x4), Chester-Le-Street, 1999
Highest Indivudual Score for Australia : Matthew Hayden, 67*(70b,10x4,1x6), Colombo SSC, 2002/03
Fastest 50 for Bangladesh : Minhajul Abedin, 96 balls, Chester-Le-Street, 1999
Fastest 50 for Australia : Tom Moody, 28 balls, Chester-Le-Street, 1999
Best Bowling Performance for Bangladesh : Enamul Haque, 2/40(5ov), Chester-Le-Street, 1999
Best Bowling Performance for Australia : Jason Gillespie, 3/20(10ov), Colombo SSC, 2002/03
Most Catches for Bangladesh : Gazi Ashraf, Azhar Hossain, Faruk Ahmed, 1 Catch, Sharjah, 1989/90
Most Stumpings for Bangladesh : Khaled Mahmud, 2 Stumpings, Chester-Le-Street, 1999
Most Catches for Australia : Ian Healy, 3 Catches, Sharjah, 1990 and Ricky Ponting, 3 Catches, Chester-Le-Street, 1999