The Bangladesh cricket team is set to travel to New Zealand to face the Kiwis in an ODI tri-series, kick-starting from 20th March. The ODI matches would be a part of the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. Bangladesh has been in a staggering form and is yet to lose a game; while New Zealand would look forward to their maiden game in the league. The hosts will welcome the Tigers for their first match to be hosted at University Oval, Dunedin.
Dunedin located in the south-eastern side of the country has a fairly cold summer with temperatures stretching below 15 degrees in the mornings. The chances of precipitation are low which gives security from the match getting interrupted. The pitch at the University Oval has previously proved to be advantageous to the Kiwis as they hold a win-loss record of 8-2 in ODIs played in this stadium. It is a high-scoring pitch where teams batting first and second share an equal margin of wins. The average score of teams batting first have been 261 in over ten matches played here. New Zealand will be looking forward to keeping their invincible run of victories in-home pitches; while Bangladesh would try to break their deadlock against the Blackcaps.
Bangladesh Team News
The Tigers have been in a blistering form off late. Since their qualification in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-finals; ODIs are the only format in which Bangladesh has gathered more wins than losses. The Tigers who have previously struggled to win against the Blackcaps traveling away from home, are in contention of achieving the impossible. Both teams go head to head with 30 matches in between them. New Zealand stands victorious in 25 of them. Winning against the Blackcaps has been Bangladesh’s strife within.
They travel to the South Islands without their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam dropped from the squad. Shakib, who suffered a thigh injury in the test series against West Indies; is out from the series as part of his paternity leave. Mosaddek Hossain has made his return to the squad after a successful stint in the Bangabandhu Cup. Left-handed opening batsman Mohammad Naim and fast bowler Al Amin Hossain are the other two names who have made it to the squad. New names include Nasum Ahmed who could be seen making his debut; given the team finds a perfect opening to introduce the spinner. The 20-man Bangladesh squad traveling to New Zealand is given below.
Bangladesh Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mosaddek Hossain. Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar. Afif Hossain, Naim Sheikh, Al Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin, Hasan Mahmud. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, and Mahedi Hasan.
New Zealand Team News
New Zealand will be playing their first ODI series since the annulment matches due to Covid-19. The Kiwis will be hoping to continue their undefeated record at home since 2019. With their last defeat coming off India in a 5-match ODI series, Kane Willamson and company have managed to win all 6 of their 50-over matches played since then.
The Blackcaps stand clear favorites to win this series as they have managed to win all of their 13 ODIs against the Tigers at home. They must not go soft on their opponents as Bangladesh’s potential to show flashes of brilliancy is very well pronounced, given their current form.
The Kiwis will welcome their fellow contestants who are bullish for a win against them in the absence of their captain. The big hitter of the game, Kane Williamson will see this series pass over. The Kiwi leader has been ruled out with an elbow injury which has allowed two uncapped top-order batsmen to find their name on the squad. Devon Conway and Will Young, either of the two names will fill up the slots for Kane Williamson in the opening lineup. Right-arm medium-fast bowler Daryl Mitchell has also been called up for his maiden ODI. Tom Latham will mark his 100th ODI game on Saturday as he is set to lead his team from the front in absence of Willamson. Bowling prowesses such as Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, and Colin De Grandhomme will also not feature in this series.
New Zealand 13-man squad: Tom Latham (C & WK), Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill. Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, James Neesham, Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson. Matt Henry, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Will Young, and Tim Southee.
It will be an interesting series to watch with New Zealand carrying only one spinner with them while Kiwi veteran and Bangladesh spin consultant Daniel Vettori feeling that spin would play a big part in it. The series starts on 20th March and will surely have cricket fans glued to their television sets.