Simmering Bangladesh brace for New Zealand fightback
Published : Tuesday, 12 February, 2019 at 1:09 PM Count : 325
New Zealand meet Bangladesh in the first of three ODIs at Napier’s McLean Park on Wednesday, in what is the final chance in the format for both teams ahead of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
New Zealand are coming off a 1-4 ODI series loss to India, and beating the same team 2-1 in the T20Is that followed is, in the words of skipper Kane Williamson, an isolated success keeping this summer’s World Cup in mind. Ranked fourth in ODIs, New Zealand have a few holes to plug for the World Cup and these three ODIs are the final chance to do that, Cricketcountry reports.
Ending their white-ball season on a high is the target for the Black Caps, but in Bangladesh they have an opposition that is desperate for success.
As Steve Rhodes, the head coach, said on Tuesday, Bangladesh like the underdogs tag. Despite the injury-enforced absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Taskin Ahmed, Mashrafe Mortaza believes Bangladesh – ranked seventh in ODIs – can succeed in New Zealand where they have never beaten the hosts in an ODI. They did, however, beat New Zealand in their last two ODIs, in Dublin and Cardiff in 2017, and the core team from those wins is around.
Bangladesh return to ODIs for the first time since December, when they defeated West Indies at home 2-1 to draw to a close a year in which they won 13 of 20 ODIs. That, statistically, capped their second best year in ODIs after the 14 they won in 2009. In 2018, they won their first overseas series in nine years and reached the final of the Asia Cup – beating Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan on the way – where they lost to India.
What: New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st ODI
Where: McLean Park, Napier
When: Wednesday, February 13
Time: 06:30 IST
The hosts have dropped Colin Munro for the first two matches, which means that Henry Nicholls should continue to open with the fit-again Martin Guptill who missed the T20Is against India after aggravating a disc in his lower back.
Martin Guptill missed the fifth ODI and all three T20Is versus India. © AFP
New Zealand may consider playing a second spinner in Todd Astle, what with Jimmy Neesham available to bowl some brisk medium pace. A four-wicket haul in his last ODI could mean more playing time for Matt Henry.
Likely XI: 1 Henry Nicholls, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Todd Astle, 10 Matt Henry, 11 Trent Boult
With Shakib out, the visitors could be compelled to play Mohammad Saifuddin, the 22-year-old allrounder with seven ODIs experience. This would mean dropping a fast bowler.
Likely XI: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Liton Das, 3 Soumya Sarkar, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mohammad Mithun, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Mohammad Saifuddin, 9 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Tamim Iqbal is coming off a match-winnning hundred in the BPL final. (Twitter Image)
Pitch and conditions:
The weather forecast is for a sunny day with a high of 25 degrees. This is the same McLean Park track on which New Zealand were bowled out for 157 by India last month. Usually McLean Park is a batsman’s paradise, but that last match has changed perceptions.
Bangladesh have lost all ten ODIs played against New Zealand in New Zealand.
Bangladesh’s only win in the country came in 2015 when they beat Scotland by six wickets in a World Cup group match at Nelson.
Since he started 2019 with 138 off 139 balls versus Sri Lanka, Guptill has six scores of 15 or less.
Ross Taylor needs 109 runs to get to 8,000 in ODIs. Only one New Zealand player has more – Stephen Fleming with 8,007.
“We know it’s going to be very difficult, we’ve got to be realistic. But we quite like being underdogs. We can surprise a few people being an underdog and I think New Zealand know they’ve still got to play some very good cricket to beat us.” – Rhodes
“We want to go out and play our natural game. It is a tough one. We had some interesting surfaces to go out and bat on [against India].” – Guptill