About the Match
Bangladesh has had a horror tour of New Zealand so far and is yet to register a win. They were supposed to have been the most competitive in the shorter formats of the game but got blanked in both the ODI and the t20 matches. New Zealand will want nothing less than a victory in both the test matches on this tour. Is there any serious challenge to stop them?
1st test Preview
Home advantage is very prevalent around the world these days and New Zealand also seem to be making sure they are not left behind by preparing wickets suited specifically to their strengths. The pitches that were prepared against Pakistan were extremely green and designed to exploit their weak batting lineup.
Against a Bangladesh team that has an extremely inexperienced pace attack, this trend is expected to continue.
New Zealand goes into this series with a few players to look out for. Ross Taylor is back into the team after recovering from his eye surgery. He says that his peripheral vision is much better than it has been in a long time and is helping him play better.
Taylor has also expressed a little bit of disappointment at having missed the t20 series and so would be motivated to make the most this opportunity. We think a rejuvenated Taylor is a good bet to make some big runs in this match. Back him for a century if he gets past 20.
New Zealand also has at their disposal one of the best batsmen in the world in this format, Kane Williamson. The New Zealand skipper had a quiet 2016 by his standards and Bangladesh could serve up the perfect diet for insatiable run hunger. Williamson is also in good form coming off an impressive half century in the last t20 international.
Another player to watch out for will be the hugely impressive Jeet Raval. The New Zealand opener made his debut against Pakistan and faced some extremely testing bowling with ease. The Bangladeshi bowlers are not at the same level and so Raval could score some big runs here if he survives the first few overs.
His opening partner, Tom Latham, had a very good tour of India where he was one of the few batsmen to score runs consistently. He also scored a very impressive century in the first ODI against Bangladesh. A highest score of 80 against Pakistan is not something that he will be happy with and he will be keen to convert his fifties into centuries given the chance.
New Zealand’s bowling lineup is full of talent and with Boult, Henry, Wagner and de Grandhomme as the all-rounder in their side, they should have no trouble rolling over the Bangladeshi team. Any one of the bowlers is capable of picking up a fifer in this match, although our personal preference would be to back Neil Wagner.
His short pitched bowling is sure to have the Bangladeshi batsmen in strife. Back him to pick the most wickets in this match.
There are two big question marks that immediately come to mind when one thinks of the Bangladeshi test team. The first is their inexperienced fast bowling lineup and the second is their fielding. With Rubel Hussain as their most experienced fast bowler (23 tests), Taskin Ahmed and Subhasis Roy expected to make their debut, Bangladesh have honestly very little idea what they can expect from their fast bowlers. Mustafizur Rahman has been rested for the first test.
Even the architect of their last victory against England, Mehdi Hasan, has only played two test matches so far. He is expected to be the fourth bowler that Bangladesh picks for this test in conditions that he has never faced before in his life.
The fielding and catching, in particular, is something that has never been Bangladesh’s strong point. In a test match being played in a foreign country, though, every dropped catch or missed chance gains that much more importance.
Bangladesh is a poor test side and even though they have made huge strides in being competitive in their own conditions, they will have to play out of their skin to make New Zealand sweat in this series.
The Bangladesh batting lineup remains much the same from the limited-overs leg of the series. This can be seen as both a positive and a negative. The positive is that the players should have hopefully had time to adapt and figure out what sort of approach they need to take while the negative is it is the same set of players that have been dismantled by the New Zealand fast bowlers.
Mushfiqur Rahim makes a comeback from injury and is expected to be fully fit for the first test. He is an experienced player that will definitely add to the team by his presence. Te batsmen to watch out though in our opinion will be Mominul Haque.
His test average of 51.66 after 19 tests is impressive and he has the technique to be able to fight it out in these conditions. He is our pick for the Bangladeshi batsmen most likely to top score.
The other batsmen that really need to make their presence felt are Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. The two most experienced campaigners in this side will decide which Bangladesh turns up. The one that surprised opponents in 2015 or the spineless one that has been on tour this series.
Mahmudullah and Sabbir are two more players that came to New Zealand with a lot of expectations but did nothing of note. Their test careers have been very average as of yet and we have a feeling that no major improvements will be seen soon.
Bangladesh will have a tough task taking 20 wickets and scoring enough runs when they do get the chance. Even lasting five days will be a minor victory for them. They are up against a ruthless New Zealand side that is well rounded in all aspects and we don’t give Bangladesh any chance of winning