|| CF CORRESPONDENT ||
Bangladesh had a bad phase in the recently concluded Asia Cup with only two wins but the Tigers achieved something to remember by beating champions India in their last match of the Super Four stage.
Now it’s time to gear up for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, for a much-needed boost for the upcoming World Cup as the first ODI starts tomorrow (Thursday) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
For the Kiwi series, Bangladesh rested their key players including captain Shakib al Hasan, injured Najmul Hossain Shanto and others but brought back veteran like Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad.
The team management formed the team with some players, who still could force their way back to the national team for the coveted World Cup.
After being dropped from the team during the series against England in March of this year, Mahmudullah needed to establish his worth. Tamim, who has recovered from a back injury, is looking forward to getting some playing time before the World Cup.
However, stand-in captain Litton Das, who is leading the side in absence of Shakib, focuses on winning the series rather than individual performances.
"You can take five wickets or hit century but it would matter little if you suffer a defeat. There is nothing bigger for a team to win a series for the country. So we'll be here to win the series. We want to put up our best game." Litton said in the pre-match press conference oday.
New Zealand haven't beaten Bangladesh in Tigers’ den in 13 years, so there's that record to sort out for the visitors. They have beaten Bangladesh last in 2008 when they won the series by 2-1.
The Blackcaps suffered a 4-0 defeat in a five-match series in 2010, one game was washed out due to rain, followed by New Zealand’s last visit in 2013, who were ‘Bangla Washed’ by the home side 3-0.
But New Zealand have sent only five World Cup-bound players to Bangladesh. Lockie Ferguson leads the side that also includes Trent Boult, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi and Will Young.
Bangladesh: Liton Das (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Tawhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Zakir Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Syed Khaled Ahmed
New Zealand: Lockie Ferguson (captain), Finn Allen, Chad Bowes, Will Young, Tom Blundell, Dean Foxcroft, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Cole McConchie, Dane Cleaver, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Trent Boult