|| CF DESK ||
The Tri-nation series consisting Bangladesh-Pakistan-New Zealand is all set to begin with the Tigers taking on Pakistan in the opening match on Friday.
Bangladesh will compete in the tournament with a much less experienced side, in the hopes of gaining valuable practice ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
New Zealand's surface has always provided an advantage to the pacers because of the hard and bouncy pitches. As an Asia subcontinent nation, Bangladesh always failed in the unfamiliar conditions.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan was supposed to join the team on Tuesday and partake in the captains' photo session with the trophy. However, he was unable to join the Bangladesh team because of a visa-related issue.
Shakib is expected to reach New Zealand on Thursday and lead the Tigers against Pakistan on Friday. Wicket-keeper batter Nurul Hasan Sohan was present at the trophy unveiling event in absence of Shakib with the other two captains Babar Azam and Kane Williamson.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Litton Das may be considered Bangladesh's opening pair for the first match, while Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Sabbir Rahman may also be sent to start the innings.
The team management may choose to enhance the batting order by putting an extra batter in the playing XI due to the unknown playing conditions. Mohammad Saifuddin's selection in the team is therefore all but not guaranteed, despite his poor run of form in recent international fixtures.
Miraz in a video message stated that he is confident and well-supported by the team for the opening role.
"After I got a chance to open, I am trying to play good cricket and I am enjoying it. Everyone is supporting me, this thing feels good. Whenever I am practicing, everyone is supporting me and everyone has a lot of faith in me. I am very confident myself. Now just waiting to play good cricket on the field," Miraz said.
The series will begin on October 7 with Bangladesh taking on Pakistan. All the teams will play against each other twice before the top two teams play the final on October 14.
All the matches will be staged at Christchurch and the series will be as part of of preparation for upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
Meanwhile, Pakistan recently lost a bilateral T20 series against England 4-3 at their home, which exposed some of their weakness in the team. Still, they are backed by some experienced players like Babar Azam, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf in the squad.
As a host nation, the Kiwis will have a greater advantage with an experienced side with just one player under the age of 25 and eleven in their 30s.
Predicted Playing XI of Bangladesh:
Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das, Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Sabbir Rahman, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Yasir Ali, Nurul Hasan (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
Fri, Oct 7 - Bangladesh v Pakistan
Sat, Oct 8 - New Zealand vs Pakistan
Sun, Oct 9 - New Zealand vs Bangladesh
Tue, Oct 11 - New Zealand vs Pakistan
Wed, Oct 12 - New Zealand vs Bangladesh
Thu, Oct 13 - Bangladesh v Pakistan
Fri, Oct 14 - Final