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Bangladesh look to brush aside poor record in New Zealand

First ODI in Napier today
Sports Reporter, Dhaka
Bangladesh look to brush aside poor record in New Zealand

Bangladesh will prefer to be tagged as underdog in a bid to take the pressure off them as they take on New Zealand in the first of three-match ODI series today at the Napier. The match begins at Bangladesh time 7am.

The underdog tag is justified given the fact that Bangladesh as of now didn’t win any match in any format in New Zealand.

However they have never been beaten by New Zealand at least in ODI matches at their own backyard since 2010. In the last encounter between the two sides in neutral venue in Cardiff during the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, Bangladesh stunned New Zealand with an epic come-from-behind win.

That victory and their recent form in white-ball cricket however amplified Bangladesh’s chances of brushing aside their poor record in New Zealand this time around. But Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes pointed out that he didn’t want to impose the pressure on the players.

“I think we have played some excellent cricket in the ODI format recently, beating West Indies couple of times. We should take a lot of heart from that,” Rhodes said ahead of the first ODI. “Coming out here against New Zealand, we know it’s going to be very difficult, very realistic. We quite like being underdog. We can surprise a few people being an underdog. I think New Zealand know they have got to play some very good cricket to beat us.”

“It is probably an inspirations for them too (the victory in Cardiff). But one thing about this squad that we have moving forward for the World Cup as well, it vastly experienced now. Got a lot of international ODI caps under their belt. One thing you got to have on a big tournament is some experience. That’s a good thing moving forward. It’s a good thing coming here. We have to try and win games here.”

New Zealand’s track record at their home venue was fabulous before a mighty Indian team brought them down to the earth, clinching a five-match ODI series by 4-1. Indian pacers however bowled devastatingly in that series to crush New Zealand in every match, something which Rhodes noted gleefully. But it’s also something that scared Rhodes as he said the ‘bruised’ New Zealand will try to make a massive comeback.

“India, they are tough side, aren’t they? They are a good team. They seem to be able to bring in replacements, give people rest and still be a very competitive side. I think T20 win from NZ was a good effort. I think there is two ways of looking at it, the ODIs. You know they got beaten 4-1. One it could put them on a downer, which I don’t think it would be. I think they will use those bruises to bounce back. We have got to be ready for a tough NZ turning up.”

At the same time, Shakib Al Hasan’s absence is a tough pill to swallow for the team, indicated Rhodes.

“I don’t know the whole tour. But certainly at the start of the ODI series, he (Shakib) won’t be available. Clean break, not a lot of complications but we just got to see how it heals. Big blow to us. There is not many Shakib Al Hasan’s around the world,” he said.

“Spin is one of our strong point as you know as well as playing against spin. But I don’t really anticipate too much turn in the wickets here. I think they will bounce, they will carry. And if anything, the wrist spinners might get a grip out of it. They know we have lost out best spinner in Shakib Al Hasan. So may be they will make some spinning wicket for us.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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