|| AFP ||
New Zealand rested their captains and several other key players in their three-match one-day international series starting Thursday ahead of the World Cup.
Instead of Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson will lead the Kiwis, who included only five members of their World Cup squad for the series at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Tim Southee, who is to have a thumb operation and Tom Latham are the highest-profile other Kiwi absentees.
But pacer Trent Boult, all-rounder Rachin Ravindra, spinner Ish Sodhi, and batsman Will Young are included.
"This is a big series for us and a very challenging one," Ferguson, who is on his maiden tour of Bangladesh, said Wednesday.
"From our point of view, it's good build-up for a World Cup," he added. "We know how strong Bangladesh are on their home conditions, so it's a good challenge for us."
The Kiwis will be looking to win their first ODI series in Bangladesh in 15 years, having lost all seven matches to the hosts in the previous two series respectively in 2010 and 2013.
Bangladesh spinners also tested New Zealand in a 3-2 win of a five-match series in 2021, but Ferguson said they were ready to face the challenge.
"But our batters have been preparing," he said. "They're used to spinning tracks, having played around the world."