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World Twenty20: Shane Watson gets chance to show why he's $2m man as Australia take on Bangladesh

BANGALORE: In a few weeks' time Shane Watson will link up here with his new Indian Premier League team, which is shelling out nearly $2 million to have the veteran all-rounder on its books for the ninth edition of the star-studded tournament.

On Monday night (Tuesday, 1am Sydney AEDT) Watson will get a chance to give fans of Royal Challengers, also home of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Mitchell Starc, an indication of what the team's liquor conglomerate owners are paying for.

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Watson and Australia should and must win their second match of the World Twenty20 championship against Bangladesh at M Chinnaswamy Stadium to remain in the hunt for qualification for the semi-finals from Group B and they will at least find the surface at the inner-city venue more to their liking than the low and slow pitch they were undone on against New Zealand in Dharamsala.

The regularity with which many Australians feature, and excel, in the IPL should, in theory, have them as well placed as any of the non-subcontintental teams to give this World T20 title a shake.

A chance to impress his next employers: Shane Watson will play for Australia against Bangladesh in Bangalore.
A chance to impress his next employers: Shane Watson will play for Australia against Bangladesh in Bangalore. Photo: Getty Images

The only problem was that what they played on in their first match, and the pitches they've seen from afar in Nagpur and Kolkata, aren't remotely like what they're accustomed to every April and May here.

As Australia endeavour to get their campaign back on track, however, they've finally been presented with a surface that looks like what they're used to seeing on the IPL circuit with their respective franchises.

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The bowl-like 50,000 seater in Bangalore looks likely to also host a semi-final in this tournament if, as is expected, Delhi loses hosting rights for safety reasons.

If Australia make it to the final four they will be no doubt eager to play a semi here should the strip be a replica of what captain Steve Smith inspected on Sunday. 

"I don't think (spin will play a big part)," Smith said of the match against Bangladesh. 

"It looks pretty similar to what a lot of the IPL wickets look like when we've played here. Generally those games are pretty high scoring, so I think we'll get something like that. It's a bit closer to what we're used to."

As a result Ashton Agar is likely to drop out of the XI following an unhappy single-over contribution in Dharamsala in which he bowled two full tosses and conceded 18 runs. One of the spare seamers, Josh Hazlewood or John Hastings, should take his place.

Bangladesh must find replacements for the banned pair Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny, who were suspended for suspect actions.

Australia are likely to retain the same batting line-up despite Aaron Finch waiting in the wings.

Coach Darren Lehmann has implored his top and middle order to bat more intelligently after blowing victory against the Black Caps.

"Smith, Warner, Maxwell, Marsh, the whole lot of them – they need to be smarter," Lehmann said. "They know that.

"We just didn't play smart enough cricket (against New Zealand) as we've done previously in a few games. The middle overs are pretty important in India.

"Ones and twos would be nice and less dot balls. But sometimes the pressure gets to you and you don't cope with it well enough. We're obviously aware we have to win every game, but that's a good challenge for the group.

"It's making sure they learn. We say that all the time, but we've got to 'do' instead of learn."

Australia (likely): Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner, Peter Nevill, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood/John Hastings.

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