The first of two Tests begins this Thursday at Basin Reserve in Wellington and visiting Bangladesh arrived in Wellington on Monday.
Tigers Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim is expected to return to the side after recovering from a hamstring injury that he suffered during the first ODI against the Kiwis. He subsequently missed the rest of the ODI and the entire T20I series. The return of the experienced Mushfiq will surely boost the Bangladesh line-up after a poor performance by their batsmen in the limited-over leg of the tour.
A total of 17 cricketers flew to Wellington for the first Test. On the other hand, limited-over skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza, who will consult with a doctor in Auckland after incurring a thumb injury during the third and final T20I, will be out of action for at least four weeks. He will return to Bangladesh after a stop-over in Sydney, Australia.
All-rounders Shuvagata Hom and Tanbir Hayder, batsman Mosaddek Hossain and bowler Ebadat Hossain will also return to Bangladesh. Ebadat will be the most disappointed among the quarter as he did not play any games after being included in the 22-member squad for the conditioning camp in Sydney.
The tourists will look to display a much better performance in the Test series where the main challenge would be to adjust to the windy conditions. However, the recent Test win over England in Dhaka will surely encourage the Tigers. Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha will definitely want the senior players in the shape of Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah to take up the responsibility and guide the youngsters at the same time.
Fast bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman has been rested for the Wellington Test but is expected to make it into the playing XI in the second and final Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, starting from January 20.