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Bangladesh have found it very difficult to challenge New Zealand in alien conditions. They'll be hoping that the change in the format can also bring about a change in their fortunes. They faced a 3-0 drubbing in the One Day Series and this upcoming T20I series will not only be a chance for Bangladesh to redeem themselves but also to zero-in on their best playing eleven before the ICC World T20, which is to be played later this year.
The first encounter of the three-match T20I series is to be played on 28th March 2021 at Seddon Park, Hamilton. While New Zealand are never an easy team to beat at home, Bangladesh have a decent side for the shortest version of the game, and a close contest is certainly on the cards.
With IPL coming up and ICC World T20 to follow, the Kiwis have decided to rest their top players and that might well open up a window of opportunity for Bangladesh. Having said that, the replacement players all did a terrific job for their respective teams in the Super Smash and will be raring to go. Besides, with a 3-0 win in the ODIs, New Zealand will be a confident them.
New Zealand's most-recent T20I assignment was around a month ago against Australia and New Zealand managed to impress one and all despite being underdogs in that series. The likes of Devon Conway, Tim Southee, and Martin Guptill were brilliant in that series and will be looking to carry on with the form. In addition to these, the Kiwis will rely heavily on Finn Allen, who had an excellent Super Smash earlier this year. The presence of Will Young and Daryl Mitchell provides the team with much-needed depth and balance, both of which are crucial requirements for the shortest version of the game.
Overall, despite a few key players missing, New Zealand have plenty of things going for them. They have the advantage of playing at home and most of their players have shown excellent form in whatever recent matches they have played. They are coming of a 3-0 win in the ODIs and will likely be brimming with confidence. Getting past them is going to be a massive challenge for the visitors in the first match of the T20I series.
Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Will Young, GD Phillips, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, TG Southee, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett, Lockie Ferguson.
Unlike New Zealand, Bangladesh are going in with their full-strength side. They do not have the services of Shakib al Hasan who got injured a few months ago, but other than him, Bangladesh seem to have all their bases covered, at least on paper. The absence of Tamim Iqbal might not be as apparent as the likes of Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, and Mohammad Naim have done reasonably well in recent times.
Bangladesh's biggest concern will be to adapt to the conditions quickly. They failed to do so in the ODI format and adjusting to the batting-friendly surfaces and short boundaries of New Zealand could be a challenge for them in T20Is as well. Setting a total could prove to be difficult and bowling first might well help Bangladesh big time, if they happen to win the toss.
They displayed lackluster fielding in the last two ODIs combined and if they do not improve their fielding in the T20Is, they will certainly have a hard time against a potent batting of New Zealand. Having said that, Bangladesh have a very capable team and if they manage to play to their potential, beating New Zealand should be well within their reach.
Liton Das, Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman.
New Zealand are coming off a terrific win in the ODIs, but this is a new format and they have a relatively new team. With T20 World Cup nearing us with every passing match, New Zealand's youngsters will be itching to get out on the field and perform. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have a relatively stable team, but lack of experience of playing in New Zealand is hurting them. Also, their fielding has been dismal in the series so far. Considering the two aspects and the athleticism of the two teams, betting on New Zealand should be the go-to choice for the upcoming match.
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