Comparing the experience of the two teams in T20Is, Bangladesh combined has 602 matches in the dressing room, while New Zealand has just 100
A confident and experienced Bangladesh team will take on visitors New Zealand in the first of the five-match T20I series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur Wednesday.
Although Bangladesh are yet to win a game in the format against New Zealand, they are boosted going into the series with the 4-1 historic win in the previous T20I series against Australia, and the home condition will give them the extra edge.
The slide shifted towards Bangladesh more due to New Zealand's choice of squad for the tour.
The visitors arrived with a completely different team to the one that will play the T20 World Cup.
Comparing the experience of the two teams in T20Is, Bangladesh combined has 602 matches in the dressing room, while New Zealand has just 100.
“I think they are still a good team. They are a team that does the homework well and well disciplined. They try to stick to their plan. We will have to be disciplined if we want to play well against them. It is important for us to play with confidence and also cope with the wicket in Mirpur, regardless we bowl or bat,” said Mahmudullah to the media at the pre-match virtual press conference Tuesday.
New Zealand are one of the luckless visitors to Bangladesh, failing to cope with the match condition in Dhaka and having recorded just one win in their last 11 bilateral games in the country.
The two T20I series, against Australia and New Zealand, were supposed to be a platform to prepare for the T20 World Cup, but Bangladesh rather chose to take advantage of low and slow wickets at home, and grab some wins in the format against better-ranked opponents.
The pack with the ball will be led by none other than star left-arm spinner Shakib al Hasan with support coming from Nasum Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman – the duo were sensational on the Mirpur surface against Australia.
In batting, Bangladesh are bolstered by the return of Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das, having missed out on the previous series due to Covid-19 protocol.
With Liton back in the team, one of the other openers Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar may get benched to start the series with.
The wicket-keeping duty as already revealed by Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo will see a shift in the first two games.
Nurul Hasan will be behind stumps in the first couple of matches, despite veteran Mushfiq being available.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand team led by Tom Latham will look to take inspiration from the T20I series win against Bangladesh earlier this year.
According to the wicketkeeper-batsman, the Kiwis will count on that experience.
“Most of the guys have experience at this level before. Couple of guys haven’t been in the squad before, it is exciting for them to get in the group and try to keep things as relaxed as possible. We had really good training over the past five days. We will finish off our final preparations,” said Latham to the media.
“We have been well looked after in Bangladesh. There has been a good vibe around the group. The guys are looking forward to getting stuck in the cricket. We have had two camps so from a preparation point of view, it has been a long time. Everyone is pretty excited to get going,” the New Zealand captain added.
Bangladesh Probable XI:
Mohammad Naim/Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (C), Nurul Hasan (WK), Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Shariful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed