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Friday, March 13, 2015, Falgun 29, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 21, 1436 Hijr

McCullum wary of rejuvenated Tigers
Published : Friday, 13 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 4

Hamilton, Mar 12: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said Bangladesh's pace bowlers will pose a real challenge for his batsmen in the World Cup Pool A match in Hamilton on Friday.
Bangladesh's seamers took eight of the ten England wickets -- with two run outs -- in their narrow 15-run win in Adelaide on Monday, a win which lifted them into the quarter-finals.
New Zealand are also in the next round after winning all their five games.
"I think what we saw the other night with a couple of the guys there, the threat that they pose with ball in hand for their quick bowlers is a lot more dangerous than a few years ago," said McCullum.
Rubel Hossain led the Bangladesh pacemen with four wickets against England.
"Tomorrow's going to be tough. The quick bowlers are going to ask us some questions, especially if it juices up a little bit. But we've faced some good, quick bowlers over the last little while too," said McCullum, who has three half-centuries, including the fastest World Cup fifty, off just 18 balls, so far at the tournament.
McCullum disagreed his team have yet to be really tested in the competition.
"We have been tested, and I think we've come through those tests. Scorelines may not suggest that we have," said McCullum, whose team narrowly beat Australia by one wicket.
"I think we've been tested considerably throughout the tournament, and I think we've found a way to get ourselves through those situations and it's really a pleasing aspect.
"We're going to be tested over the next while as well, and we've just got to make sure that we still glean the confidence from what we've been able to achieve, remain incredibly stoic."
McCullum praised the progress made by Bangladesh, a team often regarded as whipping boys of international cricket.
"I think the development of their skills in general has improved a lot over the last few years. They've always been tough at home as us losing seven games would testify," said McCullum, of New Zealand's defeats in Bangladesh in the last two series.
"But their ability to now travel -- and they don't always get the performance on the board -- I think you're seeing their skills set develop as well."
McCullum also backed out-of-form batsman Ross Taylor -- a former captain -- to come good at the tournament.
"His form is not a major concern. He's been short of opportunity throughout this World Cup, just through the nature of us bowling as well as we have and obviously chasing down the runs," said McCullum of Taylor who has made just 53 runs with two not outs.
"He's a world class player. I've said it time and time again. The number three and four punch we have on our team I wouldn't swap them for anyone around the world." Kane Williamson is fit after suffering stomach trouble but fast bowler Adam Milne, who has a bruised shoulder, is unlikely to play and will be replaced by left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan.     AFP

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