Bangladesh has announced its squad for the upcoming New Zealand tour in March and April. The tour will consist of three ODIs and three T20Is. These six matches will be played across different venues of New Zealand, which has been lauded internationally for its management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series will begin with the ODIs and will end with the T20Is. As the entire world gradually inches toward vaccination, sports has also started resuming globally. This tour will mark yet another such initiative to resume sports during the pandemic. The tour was initially set up to be held earlier but was then pushed back by a week due to COVID-19 induced complications.
Thus, the first match will be held on the 120th of March, 2021 instead of 13th of March, as planned earlier. The tour will comprise a five day training camp at Queenstown, following which the matches will be held. The ODI matches will be played on March 20, March 23 and March 26. On the other hand, the T20I matches will be played on March 28, March 30 and April 1 respectively. The T20 matches will be double-headers as they will be played alongside the New Zealand T20I series against Australia.
Recently, the 20 man squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand was announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). Among the prominent names to earn a recall to the team are Mosaddek and Al-Amin.
There have been a lot of surprise omissions and exclusions from the team. The most notable of the exclusions has been that of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and left arm spinner Taijul Islam. Shakib was left out of the squad because he requested paternity leave to be by his wife’s side during the birth of their third child. He had also sustained a thigh injury for which he had to sit out during the second test between India and Bangladesh.
Taijul Islam, on the other hand, had last played white ball cricket in March 2020. Islam, who has been one of the most prominent bowlers for Bangaldesh, has been kept aside for specialising in red ball cricket by the BCB. Meanwhile, their search for an alternative left arm spinner is on. Newbie Nasum Ahmed has been included in the team to groom him gradually as a left arm spinner who will play in the white ball format. Veteran batsman Tamim Iqbal shall be leading the team in both the formats.
The squad that has been declared is Tamim Iqbal, Mosaddek Hossain, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed.
Mosaddek and Al-Amin’s recalls
Hossain, 25, is a middle-order batsman who can also bowl handy off-breaks. Mosaddek had played his last international match against India in October 2019. He has been included to boost the middle order batting line-up of the Bangladesh cricket team in conditions like that of New Zealand. This is despite the fact that he has not performed in the recent Bangabandhu T20 cup, scoring only 148 runs in nine innings. Al-Amin is a fast bowler who can significantly boost the strengths of the pace battery of the team. Bangladesh currently does not have the option of including Aminul Islam, who had played in the T20s against Zimbabwe in 2020, due to sickness.
Bangladesh will be raring to prove themselves after having suffered a 2-0 loss in the two match test series against West Indies at home. They have played well in the limited over formats though, winning all the three of the ODIs at home against West Indies.
On the other hand, New Zealand has been one of the best teams in the world as of recent. They had topped the test rankings a few months back, and many of their players, including their Kane Williamson have been in fine form. They also boast a strong bowling attack that has proven dangerous in home conditions.
Therefore, this series will certainly offer a lot to the fans of cricket all throughout the world. While on one hand, Bangladesh will be aiming to prove themselves on foreign soil, New Zealand will concentrate on retaining their dominance and power at home. The Bangladesh tour of New Zealand thus promises good cricket to the fans, especially with the refurbished Bangladesh squad.