Aussies hoping unusual practice method gives them a leg-up
AUSTRALIA'S batsmen are getting on the front foot in preparation for Bangladesh's spin-friendly decks - without their front pad.
Ahead of the first Test starting in Dhaka on Sunday, the tourists have been using a unique practice method in order to combat the hosts - batting in the nets a pad short.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell said the philosophy behind the technique was to "basically use your bat".
"If you don't have the safety of your front pad, it makes you get your leg out of the way and actually use your bat," he said.
The Australians first used the tactic when Justin Langer was batting coach in 2012.
"I think it is more about refining your defence and making sure you trust the fact that you can hit the ball and not hoping that your pads are there just to save you," Maxwell said.
While left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, who has taken 176 Test wickets, is the obvious danger, the Aussies are also wary of fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman.
Rahman has burst on to the international scene, claiming 12 wickets in his first four Tests at an average of just 23.1. He also has 44 scalps in 22 ODIs at 19 apiece.
Maxwell has seen him first-hand in the Indian Premier League.
"Mustafizur is obviously the exceptional bowler we faced during the IPL during his breakthrough season," Maxwell said.
"I suppose his pace dropped off as he played a bit more Test cricket. He is still an outstanding bowler who has the ability to swing it and has an unbelievable change-up slower ball.
"He is not your conventional left-arm seamer. He has obviously got a very flexible wrist with which he can flick it in the last moment. It looks exactly the same either as his bumper or his slower ball. It is a hard thing to pick up."