New Zealand have a really inexperienced side with Tom Latham leading the pack, whereas Bangladesh have a really strong outfit, with a lot of skill and experience to go along with it.
The Blackcaps dominated Bangladesh in March having won all the limited-over matches, so the Tigers would be eager to give it back in this 5-match T20I series. The tracks that were used against Australia were really slow and sluggish, and we can expect the pitches to be identical even for this series.
Can the inexperienced Kiwi outfit come out on top with flying colors? Or will the Bangladesh juggernaut continue? We shall find that out soon, stay tuned in for the toss and teams..
15:10 local time | 14:40 IST: After thumping Australia in the recently concluded T20I series by a 4-1 margin, Bangladesh are ready to take on New Zealand in a 5-match series at the same venue starting today. Having beaten the Aussies convincingly, Bangladesh will be riding high on confidence and they’ll be looking forward to replicating their performance against the Kiwis as well.
A few weeks before New Zealand arrived in Bangladesh, the Asian nation comfortably beat Australia 4-1 in a bilateral T20I series. In spin-friendly climes, Nasum Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahedi Hasan, alongside Mustafizur Rahman’s variations helped the home side bestride Australia. So as the captain of an inexperienced T20I side, Tom Latham would know he has an uphill task on his hands when they take on Bangladesh in the opening T20I in Dhaka.
In the absence of regular players like Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips, the onus will be on the likes of Latham, Tom Blundell and Colin de Grandhomme to shore up the batting unit. To make matters for the visitors,
Finn Allen, known for his hitting prowess, was laid low by Covid-19 before the start of the series. With the tracks in Dhaka expected to offer grip for the spinners, the batters have to judge the length properly in order to make decisive movements – on the front foot or the back foot.
In the bowling department, one of the bowlers to watch out for is Ben Sears. With an unorthodox action, the tall pace bowler can extract kicking bounce from a slightly fuller length and bowls at good pace. Jacob Duffy, who started his T20I career on a good note versus Pakistan, would also look to impress.
With Doug Bracewell, Hamish Bennett and Scott Kuggeleijn in the set-up, New Zealand also have a few pace bowlers with some experience of having played international cricket. In fact, Bennett made his ODI debut in Bangladesh in 2010. Meanwhile, Ajaz Patel has to take over the mantle of being the spin spearhead.
On the other hand, Bangladesh would be feeling confident of toppling New Zealand in their own backyard. In the last few months, there have been encouraging signs for the home team’s camp. Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan and Shamim Hossain have shown glimpses of their ability to provide the finishing touches under pressure in white ball cricket.
Afif, in particular, played a few vital hands in tricky conditions against Australia. Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim are back in the set-up to provide more support to the likes of Shakib and Mahmudullah. The trump card of the home though is the bowling unit, with Mustafizur’s off-cutters expected to cause enough damage.
When: Wednesday, September 1 at 4 PM local time
Where: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
What to expect: Another spin-friendly track, with the conditions offering grip for the slow bowlers. As per the weather forecast, there could be a rain shower or two through the course of the day.
Bangladesh: Soumya Sarkar struggled to make his presence felt against Australia, so they could open with Liton. Mushfiqur and Nurul are set to split the wicketkeeping duties, with the latter taking the gloves for the first two games.
Probable XI: Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mahedi Hasan, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman.
New Zealand: The visitors might look at backing pace bowlers with some experience at the highest level – Scott Kuggeleijn, Blair Tickner, Doug Bracewell and Hamish Bennett – ahead of the exciting Sears.
Probable XI: Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Rachin Ravindra, Cole McConchie, Scott Kuggeleijn, Blair Tickner, Doug Bracewell/Hamish Bennett, and Ajaz Patel.
What they said:
“We have to enjoy ourselves out there and stick to a brand of cricket that we believe can be successful in these conditions. Our goal is to win the series,” Latham.
Bangladesh Squad: Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah(c), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan(w), Mahedi Hasan, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Mosaddek Hossain, Aminul Islam, Shamim Hossain
New Zealand Squad: Tom Latham(c), Tom Blundell(w), Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Rachin Ravindra, Cole McConchie, Scott Kuggeleijn, Blair Tickner, Doug Bracewell, Ajaz Patel, Hamish Bennett, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Ben Sears