Wednesday, June 19, 2024

A tighter contest than Test

Bangladesh-New Zealand ODI series begins today
With their drawn Test series behind them, both Bangladesh and New Zealand will look to put their best foot forward in the three-match One-Day International series, which kicks off at 1:30pm today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The teams produced two tightly-contested Test matches in Chittagong and Dhaka despite their respective recent struggles in the longer version of the game – New Zealand are winless this year, while Bangladesh have managed just one victory against Zimbabwe – and will expect to play at an even higher level in a format they have been much more successful in as of late.
Bangladesh have won seven and lost seven – with one no-result – in 50-over matches since the beginning of 2012, including a series win against the West Indies at home in December.
New Zealand, meanwhile, recovered from a torrid 2012 to post six wins and five losses – with one no-result – in ODIs this year, highlighted by a 2-1 series win in England in June.
The teams will also look very different from their Test iterations, with New Zealand retaining just five members of the side that contested the Test series – captain Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson and Hamish Rutherford.
‘Yeah it is obviously a new series; we have got new players as well. It’s exciting to welcome them in the tour,’ McCullum said at the pre-match press conference at Mirpur on Monday.
The tourists bring in a combination of experience campaigners, like Grant Eliot, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills and Tim Southee, and fresh blood in James Neesham, Colin Munro, Adam Milne, Mitchell Mclenaghan, Tom Latham and opening batsman Anton Devcich, who McCullum said is in line to make his debut.
‘We have got more experience in the one-day side I think. Now the Test team, we are developing as a Test team [but] we are nowhere near the finished product.
‘I think the one-day team is pretty set in how we play. We have had more success in the one-day game of late; we probably feel a lot more confident in the one-day format at this point in time.’
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim agreed with McCullum’s assessment of the New Zealand side.
‘Definitely, their ODI squad is a lot stronger than the Test squad,’ said the Tigers’ skipper.
‘To be honest, planning against their younger players is something new for us, so it will be challenging. But it’s not impossible, because we know our conditions better than them.’
Bangladesh will make a number of changes themselves, bringing in vice-captain Mahmudullah, who is likely to slide into the number three spot in the line-up, and veteran paceman Mashrafee bin Murtaza, as well as right-arm pace bowler Ziaur Rahman.
‘Mashrafee bhai, definitely, he is an asset for any team, and he is completely fit and he will, God willing, be completely fine to play tomorrow,’ said Mushfiq of the oft-injured former captain.
Mohammedan SC batsman Shamsur Rahman may also receive an ODI debut during the series, having been added to the squad for the first time.
Pace bowler Al-Amin Hossain, who made his Test debut in Dhaka last week, was also added to the squad after an injury to Shafiul Islam ruled him out of the series.
‘He is a very young prospect for our side. He can maintain line and length and bowl long spells. We were happy with his performance; hopefully he will do well in the future,’ Mushfiq said.
‘[I’m] feeling bad for Shafiul because he played well in this series the last time New Zealand came [in 2010]; nobody can control injuries.’
Bangladesh may also have to make further last-minute changes for the first ODI, with star all-rounder Sakib al Hasan unlikely to play due to a high fever on Monday night, leaving the hosts a bowler short.

-With New Age input

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