Bangladesh's Nasir Hossain plays a shot during the first day of the second Test match against Australia in Chittagong.
Bangladesh's Nasir Hossain plays a shot during the first day of the second Test match against Australia in Chittagong. A.M. Ahad

Aussies slammed for 'lack of planning and respect'

STEVE Smith has only himself to blame as Australia stares down an embarrassing series defeat against Bangladesh after an unpopular call on day one.

Australia started the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong in promising fashion but the hosts bounced back to ensure the spoils were shared come stumps on day one.

The home side ended proceedings at 6/253, fighting back after Nathan Lyon ran through the top order to finish with five wickets.

Australia made two huge calls on the morning of the Test, dumping underperforming batsman Usman Khawaja and recalling allrounder Hilton Cartwright and outcast spinner Steve O'Keefe.

The relevance of Khawaja's snub aside, Aussie fans didn't get to see enough of Cartwright to know if his promotion was the right call.

He bowled only one over - the final six balls before tea - in the first two sessions as Steve Smith was happy to use Pat Cummins and his spinners. But Cummins' illness meant he didn't bowl again until late in the final session and Cartwright was given an added workload leading up to the 24-year-old's return to the bowling crease.

The West Australian's five overs of gentle seamers were unthreatening on a docile Chittagong wicket as Bangladesh's batsmen dealt with him easily.

O'Keefe's elevation in place of Jackson Bird came as the Aussies opted for three spinners and only one specialist quick after losing Josh Hazlewood to injury. Again, Cummins' extended absence from the attack meant Smith was robbed of variety and you were left wondering whether O'Keefe was offering anything that couldn't already have been provided by incumbent spinners Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar.

Bangladesh's Sabbir Rahman, foreground, walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by Australia's Nathan Lyon.
Bangladesh's Sabbir Rahman, foreground, walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by Australia's Nathan Lyon. A.M. Ahad

That Lyon and Agar both took wickets while O'Keefe didn't will only add to the debate over whether it was the right call to play three specialist tweakers.

ABC sportscaster Corbin Middlemas believed O'Keefe was underprepared and shouldn't have been picked. "Not chosen in Darwin training camp, now playing 2nd Test," Middlesmas tweeted. "Complete lack of planning and respect for opposition/environment."

Lyon opened the bowling for Australia on day one, becoming the first Aussie spinner to be given the new ball in the first innings of a Test since 1938. And you could hardly have blamed Steve Smith if he never took the ball off him.

Lyon took 5/77 in a special display as he beefed up his resume and created Test history at the same time.

Australian players celebrate the dismissal of Bangladesh's Sabbir Rahman
Australian players celebrate the dismissal of Bangladesh's Sabbir Rahman A.M. Ahad

Angling his deliveries into Bangladesh's top four batsmen - all left-handers - the off-spinner trapped each of them LBW as they played for turn only to see the ball slide straight on and hit their pads.

It was the first time in history Bangladesh's top four batsmen have fallen LBW in a Test match and the second time it's happened for any country. It was also the first time the Tigers' top four have been dismissed by a spinner and the first time any nation's top four have been trapped LBW by the same bowler.

Lyon and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade then combined in the final session to stump Shabbir Rahman, giving the GOAT his fifth scalp.

Lyon now has three five-wicket hauls from his past three Tests. The last Australian to achieve that was Glenn McGrath in 2001 and the last Aussie spinner to do so was Shane Warne in 1994.

News Corp Australia


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