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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Cairns is 'sensational'
Justin Langer
By Justin Langer
Australia Test batsman in Cairns

Despite a six-hour plane delay at the Ayers Rock airport, the last three weeks in the north of the country has been a success story.

Bangladesh have shown enough improvement to suggest they have a base from which to develop.

Steve Waugh
Our captain proved his value to the side yet again

There is enough young talent to provide coach Dav Whatmore with a positive and encouraging vision of where cricket can go in his adopted country.

Young fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza is an exciting talent who bowled with discipline, raw pace and aggression throughout the series.

He has earned the respect of the entire Australian top order.

If his bowling partners can continue developing their skills and strength, then there is no reason why they cannot bowl out Test batting line-ups in favorable conditions.

Leg-spinner Alok Kopali has good control and flight, but he will have to learn to spin the ball harder than he currently does.

Like many of his team-mates he is young, with time on his side.

He could possibly establish a bowling partnership with off spinning all-rounder Sanwar Hossain, who looks to be a very talented and balanced middle order batsman.

Unfortunately for him, his immediate bowling future is under scrutiny after the umpires reported his action as suspect.

Mashrafe Mortaza
Things were not always easy for the Bangladeshis

This would be a blow for the already undermanned Bangladeshi attack.

Until Bangladesh are able to find enough weapons to take 20 wickets in a game they are always going to be under siege.

There is little doubt they can make enough runs to be competitive.

At Cairns they compiled just under 300 runs in their first innings to send a few shock waves through our camp.

Stuart MacGill was in outstanding form and Jason Gillespie, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee bowled well in the second innings.

So it was little wonder the Bangladeshis were unable to back up their fantastic first innings performance.

Like many teams before them, the pressure became suffocating as our bowlers worked hard to ensure another comprehensive Test match victory.

The prospect of playing Sri Lanka in Cairns is exciting

Batsmen Darren Lehmann, Steve Waugh and Martin Love played sensational innings when it came our turn to bat.

Love's initial Test century will be a huge relief, while Stephen's 32nd Test hundred further enhanced his reputation as one of the greatest players of the modern era.

It is extraordinary to think his place in the Test side was under enormous media scrutiny only seven months ago.

At the start of this series the result seemed inevitable. Three weeks on, this speculation has proven to be fact but in the bigger picture the result has been a win for cricket all around.

The cricket ground in Cairns is simply sensational.

With an international quality pitch, superb outfield and incredible backdrop of magnificent rainforest, this ground is one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.

The prospect of playing Sri Lanka here this time next year is exciting for the players and the Top End fans who have enjoyed close contact with the Australian players.

It has been a fantastic event and one that will provide incentive and encouragement for the continued expansion of Test cricket around the globe.

From Cairns,
JL



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