They have travelled to New Zealand thrice before and have never won an ODI match.
This series, another three-match affair, promises to be equally one-sided. Bangladesh’s hopes were severely dented after Shakib-al-Hasan had to return home owing to injury. Shakib is a world-class all-rounder and his absence would be sorely felt by the tourists as they look to salvage some pride in alien conditions ahead of the World Cup in England.
Bangladesh have played a total of 11 matches in New Zealand and have won once, but that occurred in the 2015 World Cup group match against Scotland at Nelson.
Their win-loss ratio in New Zealand is amongst the worst as a touring country.
Their record is worse only in Pakistan (where they have one win in 15 matches) and South Africa (0 wins after 14 ODIs) where they are yet to win a match.
Bangladesh’s record against the Kiwis in New Zealand is even poorer. They have played 10 ODIs in New Zealand and lost all of them.
Away from New Zealand, though, the results have been more comparable. In 21 matches outside New Zealand, Bangladesh have beaten the Black Caps 10 times. The Champions Trophy 2017 win over the Kiwis, a victory that knocked New Zealand out of the tournament would be one memory the Bangladesh players would cherish and look to for inspiration.
One of Bangladesh’s centurions that day was Shakib-al-Hasan and he would unfortunately not be a part of this series. Shakib is among Bangladesh’s most prolific run-scorers and wicket-takers in the country. He has scored 234 runs at an average of 23.4 in New Zealand while also picking up 18 wickets at an average of 28.05. None of Bangladesh’s other bowlers have taken over 10 wickets in New Zealand.
Amongst the batsmen, Tamim Iqbal tops the run charts for Bangladesh in New Zealand with 398 runs at an average of 36.18. Imrul Kayes, who was dropped from the team before this series, is the other batsman who has shone in these conditions, averaging 37.71 including a century.
Mahmudullah, who has three tons in ODIs, has scored two of them against New Zealand – one in the Champions Trophy in 2017 in England and the other in the World Cup game at Hamilton in 2015.
Bangladesh need their key players to step up in the absence of Shakib for this ODI series, which holds much value considering the World Cup is around the corner.
Can the Tigers re-write history and produce something out of the ordinary?
*All numbers from before the first One-Day International in Napier
First Published: February 13, 2019, 2:49 PM IST