New Zealand vs Bangladesh 1st ODI Preview: Tigers' opportunity to record maiden ODI win in New Zealand in the absence of Williamson, Taylor
Bangladesh have been jolted by the absence of premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is on paternity leave, but the team still has enough quality personnel to earn their maiden ODI victory in New Zealand.
Bangladesh carrying good ODI form
If there is one format in which Bangladesh can feel confident about their chances, it is 50 overs cricket. Bangladesh have won each of their last 5 ODIs, including a 3-0 clean sweep against West Indies at home recently.
On the contrary, New Zealand have won three and lost two of their last five one-day matches. In fact, the last time they stepped out on the field for a 50-over match, it was in March last year when their tour of Australia was cut short due to the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hasan, Williamson, Taylor unavailable
What will further give Bangladesh confidence is that New Zealand will be without two of their leading batsmen in skipper Kane Williamson and seasoned batsman Ross Taylor. The last time New Zealand played an ODI without these two batsmen was six years ago.
New Zealand have been further dented by injuries with the absence of Lockie Ferguson due to a back injury and Colin de Grandhomme due to an ankle injury. However, that is offset to some extent by the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, who is on paternity leave. The value that Shakib brings to the Bangladesh ODI side with the bat, particularly now that he has started batting in the top 4, and with the ball is irreplaceable.
For Bangladesh to cover up for the absence of the champion all-rounder, they will need their senior players like Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Mustafizur Rahman to rise to the occasion.
Bangladesh's opportunity to do the unprecedented
From 13 attempts, Bangladesh are yet to win an ODI in New Zealand and have an opportunity to break the jinx this time.
"It is a great opportunity for us to do something that no Bangladeshi side has done before," Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said ahead of the series opener. "I think the 50-over format is our strongest format at the moment. If you look at the team's performance in the World Cup and if you look at the averages of the players, we have some good numbers in one-day cricket. We have got some good potential, guys like Hasan Mahmud and Taskin Ahmed are bowling nicely. We are excited about some of our fast bowlers."
Onus on Tamim, Mushfiqur and Mustafizur
With the first 10 overs the trickiest phase for batsmen in New Zealand, the Bangladesh opening combination of Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das will have the significant job of getting the team off to a solid start and not losing the initiative in the first few overs.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto will bat number 3 with Mohammed Mithun taking the number 4 spot in case Mosaddek Hossain does not recover in time. Numbers 5, 6 and 7 will be taken care of by Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar which forms the core of the Bangladesh middle order, with all-rounders Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehidy Hasan Miraz at number 8 and 9.
Mustafizur Rahman will lead the Bangladesh pace attack. The team will have to pick one between the experience of Taskin Ahmed and the youth of Hasan Mahmud as their second pace bowling option.
Latham to lead, Conway to debut
In the absence of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls and stand-in captain Tom Latham will have to do the heavy lifting. Devon Conway, after impressing in a short International T20 career, is expected to make his ODI debut. Same is the case with Will Young and Daryl Mitchell.
James Neesham and Mitchell Santner will provide New Zealand with quality all-round options in the absence of Colin de Grandhomme, while the trio of Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult continue to be their reliable pace bowling options.
Here are the probable playing XIs:
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Devon Conway, Tom Latham (c & wk), Will Young, James Neesham/Ish Sodhi, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult
Bangladesh - Tamim Iqbal (c), Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mosaddek Hossain/Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud/Taskin Ahmed
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