Alex Carey pinpointed Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan as “one guy we want to get out early” as Australia look to take another important stride towards the World Cup semi-finals.

Shakib was already regarded as a premier performer with both bat and ball but has significantly elevated his status in the last few weeks with two hundreds and two half-centuries in his four tournament innings so far.

His purple patch has carried him to the top of the tournament run charts and Carey knows subduing the left-hander, who has also been chipping in with some vital wickets, could be crucial for Australia at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

  • 124* v West Indies
  • 121 v England
  • 64 v New Zealand
  • 75 v South Africa

Carey said: “Bangladesh are playing some really good cricket at the moment and it’s led by Shakib. So we’ve obviously put our time into Shakib and all the players at the top of the order as well as their bowling.

“He’s in probably career-best form with the white ball. So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and I guess out there we’ll assess the conditions as well.

“We leave that up to the bowlers and the captain to do that, but he’s one guy we want to get out early.”

A fifth victory in six matches would take Australia back to the top of the group standings and well placed to progress into the knockout stages.

Carey, though, believes there is still plenty more to come from the defending champions.

The wicketkeeper-batsman said: “I think we’re playing really good cricket, I think we’ve got areas we can still improve and be more consistent at.

“We obviously like to take wickets up front, there have been times we probably would have liked to finish off innings with the bat.

“Although we’re getting results we’re still striving hard to try to find that perfect game and put a full 50 or 100 overs together. But the guys are working really hard and we’re aware of the areas to keep improving.”

Marcus Stoinis could return for Australia following a side strain (Mark Kerton/PA)
Marcus Stoinis could return for Australia following a side strain (Mark Kerton/PA)

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis could come back into the reckoning after missing Australia’s last two fixtures with a side strain.

Carey added: “He had a bowl (on Tuesday) and he was fine (on Wednesday). So I think he’s a really good chance to come back into the side.

“It is nice having that extra option with the ball through the middle, it just gives that flexibility with the overs, and obviously batting at six, it’s a really crucial role.

“It will be great to have Stoinis to come back into the side. And I know he’s worked really hard off the ground to be ready to go, and he’s smacking the ball in the net. It will be exciting to get him back out there.”