New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2nd T20I Preview: Kiwis look to extend winning run against listless Bangladesh
All-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin must bat higher up for Bangladesh to provide their batting innings the impetus against a power-packed New Zealand side.
How the 4 debutants fared in series opener
There were as many as four debutants in the opening T20I between Bangladesh and New Zealand. Finn Allen and Will Young played their first ever T20I for New Zealand while Nasum Ahmed and Shoriful Islam made their debuts for Bangladesh.
The debutants had contrasting returns. Finn Allen, who knocked the door down in Super Smash 2020-21 finishing as the top run scorer in the tournament with 512 runs at an average of 56.88 and a strike rate of 193.93, failed to carry on his form in international cricket and was bowled of his very first delivery in international cricket off a delivery from Nasum Ahmed which snuck between his bat and pad.
Will Young, on the contrary, had a brilliant display of power hitting as he struck two fours and 4 sixes in his 30-ball 53, helping New Zealand to a massive total.
For Bangladesh, left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed had a good outing. In fact, he was the pick of the bowlers for the Tigers and finished with figures of 4-0-30-2 while going at an economy rate of 7.50.
Fellow debutant Shoriful Islam had a forgettable outing. He starred for the Bangladesh under 19 side in their 2020 World Cup victory but was taken to the cleaners by the New Zealand batsmen. Islam conceded 50 runs from his four overs, without taking a wicket.
Batting letting the Tigers down
Change in captaincy did not bring change in fortune for Bangladesh as Mahmudullah, who is filling in for Tamim Iqbal, had to speak in a similar tone as the regular captain after Bangladesh's disappointing loss.
Mahmudullah, who was bowled by Ish Sodhi for 11 off 9 balls in the first T20I, appreciated the efforts of left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed on debut but reiterated that the Bangladesh batsmen will have to step up to the plate for the team to have a chance of beating the Kiwis in their den.
"The bowlers bowled quite well, Nasum Ahmed bowled really well on his debut. Once again, we have let ourselves in the batting dept, kept losing wickets in clusters. We need to pick ourselves up in the second game. Conway is in very good touch, he has been batting really well. We need to find a way to restrict him. 190 was a good score here to chase, we conceded a few more boundaries. But the batting unit has to click. Ish is an experienced campaigner, he used the conditions really well, the ball was gripping a little bit here. We can't afford to make the same mistakes again and again," the skipper lamented.
Ferguson and Milne in tandem?
New Zealand went in the series opener with just four proper bowlers with Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell making up for the overs of the fifth bowler. The team was just three down as they put up 210 runs on the board from their 20 overs and can consider replacing a specialist batsman with a bowler.
Adam Milne, who was brilliant in the Big Bash League, can be brought in for Mark Chapman. It will not only be a spectacle to see both Milne and Lockie Ferguson in tandem but Milne's pace can prove to be too hot to handle for Bangladesh.
Taskin Ahmed set to return
The visitors took a big call when they left out Taskin Ahmed, their best bowler on the tour, to bring in under 19 find Shoriful Islam. With the young pacer having conceded 50 runs to register the worst figures for a Bangladesh bowler on debut, he might have to make way for Ahmed.
Likewise, Mustafizur Rahman has now been lackluster in back to back matches and might have to set out for Rubel Hossain.
Here are the probable playing XIs:
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Will Young, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman/Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee (c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Hamish Bennett
Bangladesh - Liton Das (wk), Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
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