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ICC World Cup 2019 | Upbeat Bangladesh Face Demanding New Zealand Test

Runners-up in 2015, New Zealand ticked all the boxes as they dispatched the Sri Lankan challenge with utmost ease in the opening game of their campaign.

Cricketnext Staff |June 5, 2019, 8:02 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Upbeat Bangladesh Face Demanding New Zealand Test

Runners-up in 2015, New Zealand ticked all the boxes as they dispatched the Sri Lankan challenge with utmost ease in the opening game of their campaign. Similarly, Bangladesh, who have improved by leaps and bounds over the recent years, roared past the beleaguered South Africans by 21 runs.

New Zealand, led by Kane Williamson are looking to go one better than the previous campaign and next on the agenda for them will be a confident Bangladeshi side at the Oval in London.

The Kiwi bowlers have been on top of their game since their arrival in the United Kingdom, and the likes of Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult will be tasked with dismantling yet another Asian outfit quickly. That they did not miss the veteran Tim Southee on the day, will give Bangladesh a fair idea of the task on hand.

Mentored by the South African Neil McKenzie however, Bangladesh’s batsmen are no pushovers as Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim displayed. Shakib, one of the best all-rounders in the game currently has once again reiterated the importance and the effect he can have on the big stage, will have the added incentive of this being his 200th game.

“Building up to this World Cup, we knew what challenges we might face. We prepared well, so that gave us a lot of confidence and belief. We came to this World Cup wanting to do well,” Shakib said. “We are up for the challenge but at the same time we are relaxed. We knew we had the skill to beat big teams.”

The guile of Bangladesh’s spinners is likely to be an area of major concern for the Kiwis, but Martin Guptill and Williamson would have worked out Shakib from close quarters while with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL earlier in the year.

Colin Munro and Guptill’s adventures against Sri Lanka meant the middle-order did not get a hit and that could be crucial against the experienced heads among the Bangladesh bowlers. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will bank on Mustafizur Rahman to give the opposition a run for their money, before he brings his trump cards into play.

New Zealand's Matt Henry celebrates with teammates. (AP)

New Zealand’s abilities to stamp their authority is well documented and so is Bangladesh’s penchant for punching above their weight category. The result in the second game of the World Cup is unlikely to be crucial for qualification scenarios but is likely to define the nature of the campaign for either side.

The Oval is likely to aid the moving ball, and early telling blows could decide the fate.

Last Five ODs

New Zealand: W W W W W

After losing the ODI series to India 4-1, New Zealand bounced back to thrash Bangladesh 3-0 at home before comprehensively beating Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in their first game at the World Cup.

Bangladesh: W W W W NR

Bangladesh came into the World Cup on a high having won a tri-series involving West Indies and Ireland and began their campaign with a morale-boosting win against the South Africans.

Players to watch out for

Ross Taylor: The former Kiwi skipper has been a different batsman since his eye operation. Last year Taylor averaged over 90 in the 11 ODIs and this year has been no different with 593 runs at an average of 74.12 at a strike-rate of over 94. He carried on this form in the game against India in the warm-up with another impressive half-century.

Shakib Al Hasan: The all-rounder is possibly Bangladesh’s most important player and will want to make his mark in his 200th ODI. In great form currently, Shakib will once again be the fulcrum of the Bangladesh performance after inspiring his side to a win against the Proteas.

Team News/Availability:

New Zealand: The Kiwis’ only injury worry ahead of the tournament was wicket-keeper Tom Latham, but he is fit and they have the full squad to pick from.

Bangladesh: Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has a fully fit squad to pick from.

Squads:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal.

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1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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