Bangladesh will hope a change of format can bring a change in their fortunes in New Zealand after they were swept 3-0 in the ODIs. The three-match T20I series begins in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon, with the home side likely to present a very new look.
New Zealand will be without their regular captain Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner and Tim Seifert, who have all been rested to prepare for a grueling IPL schedule. But they will have the experienced Tim Southee, who is leading the side in Williamson’s absence, as well as Martin Guptill and Ish Sodhi.
Bangladesh too are in a similar situation now that they are without Tamim Iqbal, who is not available due to personal reasons. Already without Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s squad has only Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah as experienced players. They will be hopeful that Mohammad Mithun can continue his good form from the ODI series, while Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar can recover from the lean patch. Bangladesh have the likes of Mohammad Naim, Mosaddek Hossain, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Afif Hossain among the young batsmen who didn’t play the ODIs.
Their bowling has also looked sharp at times, particularly pacer Taskin Ahmed and offspinners Mahedi Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. But Mustafizur Rahman wasn’t his old self during the ODIs, while Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin and Hasan Mahmud played only one game each.
Bangladesh, however, will be most worried about their fielding. They dropped five catches in the second and the third ODIs, while looking lackluster at the back-end of both matches.
New Zealand are a much better fielding side by comparison, and with the injection of newcomers, can expect the standard to rise a bit more. Finn Allen is the most exciting of all the youngsters after his productive Super Smash tournament earlier in the season. Fireworks will also be expected from Guptill, Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman, who will be batting in the top five.
Southee will have Hamish Bennett, Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne in his pace attack. Legspinners Sodhi and Todd Astle will also be wicket-taking options for the home side.
(Last five completed matches)
New Zealand WLLWW
In the spotlight
Daryl Mitchell has given a major glimpse into his capabilities with a breathtaking century in the third ODI against Bangladesh. He can be termed as a 360 degree batsman and a bowler who can be relied upon in critical situations.
Taskin Ahmed has been Bangladesh’s most impressive bowler on the tour. He is fitter and tougher, especially mentally, but will need wickets to spruce up his return to the national side.
Adam Milne and Todd Astle look likely to start the series for New Zealand. Daryl Mitchell could continue on his ODI role in the T20I side as well, particularly after his maiden ODI hundred in the previous innings.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Devon Conway (wk), 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Finn Allen, 4 Glenn Phillips, 5 Mark Chapman, 6 Will Young, 7 Daryl Mitchell, 8 Todd Astle, 9 Tim Southee (capt), 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Adam Milne
For Bangladesh, pace bowler Hasan Mahmud will be returning home having not regained fitness in time for the T20Is. He has not trained or played due to a stiff back following the first ODI in Dunedin. Thus, they may field a similar XI to the last two ODIs, with the addition of Mohammad Naim – who could replace Tamim Iqbal – and Mohammad Saifuddin being the only likely changes.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Liton Das, 2 Mohammad Naim, 3 Soumya Sarkar, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Mohammad Mithun, 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Pitch and conditions
Seddon Park usually dishes out flat batting pitches, with the side batting first averaging 183 in T20I internationals. But during the 2020-21 Super Smash, that figure has come down to around 140. Despite that, mostly dry conditions on Sunday means it is expected to be a big-hitting affair in Hamilton.
Stats and trivia
- Bangladesh’s lowest total in any format in New Zealand was 78 all out at Seddon Park in 2010.
- New Zealand newcomer Finn Allen hit 25 sixes in this season’s Super Smash.
“We have played a lot of T20 cricket this summer, so the guys know how to chop and change pretty quickly these days. It should be good fun.”
New Zealand allrounder Daryl Mitchell on the quick turnaround between ODIs and T20Is against Bangladesh
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84