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by John Pennington Tuesday 8 October 2013
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor expects his side to be challenged during the two-Test series against Bangladesh, which gets underway in Chittagong tomorrow (9th October).
Last time the Black Caps toured Bangladesh, they were pushed hard, having to chae down 317 to win the first Test and then losing the One-Day International series 4-0.
Taylor knows that the home side will be no pushovers.
"We're focused on the Test series ahead, we know Bangladesh are a very good Test side at home and play very well in these conditions," he said.
"We need to be at the top of our game to not only compete, but put the pressure on them.
"Tamim Iqbal is a world class player, as is Shakib Al Hasan. They've brought back Abdur Razzak, who's had success against us in the past. Sohag Gazi we haven't seen a lot of apart from video footage. Mahmudullah has played very well against us as well, scoring a very good hundred in Hamilton."
However, New Zealand have picked two spinners in Ish Sodhi and Bruce Martin who Bangladesh won't have seen a lot of either.
"Ish Sodhi is yet to make his Test debut - he'll relish that and any leg spinner is going to be dangerous when they put the ball in the right areas for long enough. Bruce Martin too will be looking to cement his spot in the Test team, and what better place to do it than in spinner friendly conditions."
Nevertheless, Taylor knows that his batsmen will have to perform against Bangladesh's slow bowlers for his team to succeed.
"Every time a New Zealand side comes here it's the first thing we're asked. A lot of guys have played over here before, as well as India and Sri Lanka - it doesn't come naturally to us to play aggressively against spin, but we're working on the right formulas to play positively and score runs."
Wet weather meant that the three-day match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI was abandoned without a ball being bowled, although humid conditions could yet play into New Zealand's hands.
"With the wet weather, I'm sure the seamers will be in the mix. Reverse swing will play a part in the game - we've got some top quality international seamers that will be relishing using not only the new ball on this wicket, but also a reverse swinging ball as well."
© Cricket World 2013