Bangladesh tour New Zealand for three ODIs followed by three Test matches where Mashrafe Mortaza will lead the side for the one-day leg of the tour while Shakib Al Hasan will take over for Bangladesh in the Test arena. On their previous trip to New Zealand in 2016, they were comfortably brushed aside in the one-day series. On other hand, New Zealand will be keen to get back to winning ways after losing the one-day series to India played earlier this month.
Shakib Al Hasan’s finger injury is a big setback for Bangladesh ahead of the series but ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza is confident of the team’s chances despite the absence of the all-rounder, reflecting on his team’s performance in the Asia Cup where they had coped without the services of the left-hander for the second half of the tournament. Shakib was ruled out of the ODI series after sustaining a fracture to his left ring finger during a Bangladesh Premier League game. Shakib had earlier returned home midway from the Asia Cup after a long-standing finger injury flared up and forced him to get operated immediately. Bangladesh made it to the final of the tournament despite the unavailability of Shakib, as well as Tamim Iqbal, which Mortaza believes should serve as an inspiration for the team during the New Zealand series.
One Day Internationals (Since 1990)
Total played – 26
New Zealand won – 21
Bangladesh won – 5
Tests (Since 2001)
Total played – 13
New Zealand won – 10
Drawn – 3
06.30am February 13th, Wednesday – 1st ODI @ McLean Park, Napier
03.30am February 16th, Saturday – 2nd ODI @ Hagley Oval, Christchurch
03.30am February 20th, Wednesday – 3rd ODI @ University Oval, Dunedin
03.30am February 28th, Thursday – 1st Test @ Seddon Park, Hamilton
03.30am March 08th, Friday – 2nd Test @ Basin Reserve, Wellington
03.30am March 16th, Saturday – 3rd Test @ Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Bangladesh will be playing after a gap of more than a month and haven’t been able to register a victory against New Zealand across any formats in New Zealand, but their coach Steve Rhodes is confident that his team would be able to compete against the Kiwis and give them a tough fight. Steve Rhodes headed to New Zealand’s soil on February 6th along with 8 more cricketers of the squad. The rest of the team is expected to arrive in New Zealand after the conclusion of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
The Bangladesh coach said that his team would take confidence from their performance in ODIs last year. Bangladesh were able to win 13 matches out of the 20 played in the ODI format in the previous year. “We are very happy with the performances of the players recently. We are expecting to do well in the ODI format because that’s something we pride ourselves on and so we will be doing our very best in the ODIs,” he said.
Every team is preparing for the World Cup – which is slated to be played in the month of May-June this year. The coach of the Bangladesh team said he was hoping to find the best playing XI in the series against New Zealand. “It [the tour of New Zealand] will give us an indication of where we are in world cricket, whether we are on target to the World Cup. You know Ireland and the West Indies (a tri-nation in May) will be closer to the tournament and so that will be the last finishing touches for the World Cup,” he added.
The coach of the Bangladesh team would be hoping that his team could put up an impressive show and gain some momentum ahead of the World Cup. “I hope we win some games. It will be great for us to win some games of cricket there but it is not easy as it was proved during the last time,” said Rhodes, reflecting on the clean sweep by New Zealand across formats in 2016-17 when Bangladesh last visited the country. “We are very happy with the players and we hope to achieve our goals in the upcoming tour”, he said.
Bangladesh ODI Captain Mashrafe Mortaza will be hoping that the side can put in a much improved performance after deputy Shakib Al Hasan has missed out for the three-match one-day series.
Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan are three premier players in the batting department. With Shakib out of the equation, the duo will need to deliver for Bangladesh to do well in the three-match one-day series. Liton Das also has tasted reasonable amount of the experience at the top of the innings for Bangladesh.
Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman are experienced players that will need to contribute with the bat for the side. Mithun has done a reasonable job for the side since his comeback to limited-overs cricket.
Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehedi Hasan can provide value with bat and ball. In the pace department, Rubel Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Saifuddin are three premier options in the squad. Nayeem Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan and Mehedi Hasan are spinners for the three-match one-day series.
On the other hand, New Zealand will be keen to make amends for being outplayed in the one-day series against India. Captain Kane Williamson will be hoping that the side can get off to decent start.
Martin Guptill has been consistent performer for the side in limited-overs cricket. He will be looking to get back to his best with the bat. The experienced opener wasn’t able to produce scores for the side against India. He will be keen to deliver runs for the side in this one-day series.
Henry Nicholls also struggled to get going during the one-day series against India. He averaged 21.00 with the bat in the five-match series. Left-hander will be keen to get back amongst the runs against Bangladesh.
Ross Taylor has been leading-run scorer for the side in limited-overs cricket for the past six months. He scored 177 runs in 5 matches at an average of 44.25 against India in the recently concluded one-day series.
Tom Latham might get the job to open the innings after scoring runs with the bat against India. He scored 133 runs in 5 matches at an average of 33.25.
In the bowling department, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell and Lockie Ferguson are four seamers for the one-day series. Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle might be three spin options for the three-match series.
The opening game of the one-day series will begin from 13th February in Mclean Park, Napier. The second and third game will be played on 16th at Christchurch and 20th in Dunedin.
The culmination of the three-match one-day series will see a three-match Test series. The first game of the series will be played from 28th to 4th February in Seddon Park, Hamilton. The second and third Test will be played at Wellington and Christchurch.
ODI Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nayeem Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Mominul Haque
Test Squad: Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Shadman Islam, Mominul Haque, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain
1st & 2nd ODI Squad: Kane Williamson(c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor New Zealand
The Bangladesh ODI skipper is expecting flat tracks for the 50-over games and mentioned that the form of his batsmen augurs well for the side. However, he did warn the bowlers to brace for a tough challenge on batsmen-friendly pitches.
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