On a lively green top grassy wicket in windy Basin Reserve of New Zealand Capital Wellington, Mushfiques Tiger Squad will have acid test today in the first of the two test series.
Before Bangladeshis in Bangladesh go to the office they can witness at least pre-lunch and pre -tea sessions. Bangladesh with three quality pacers and two quality spinners can also test New Zealand batting if they can field well and take their chances. Off course Henry, Boult and Southee and Wagner knows well the length and line to bowl at basin reserve to make the life of Bangladeshi batsmen extremely difficult surviving. It could be fascinating watching Mustafiz bowling on the wicket. But perhaps not risking still struggling for fitness Fizz is better for the future. Hope Taskin, Rubel, and Subhashish under the guidance of Courtney Walsh prove equal to their task. Soumya may act as the fourth seamer. Tiger batsmen are not used to playing on such grassy, hard bouncy wickets. Not only Bangladeshis all teams from South Asia have struggled there in the past. But Bangladesh now has much better batting resources than any time in the past to post at least enough runs for their bowlers to make a match of it. In Shakib and Mehedi Miraj Bangladesh has two top quality spinners. Hope selectors would prefer Miraj over Taizul acknowledging the presence of some left handed batsmen in New Zealand team . Bangladesh with all its quality and potential would start as the underdog. But nevertheless, if it can play to potential opportunities would come. But we must not expect anything more than honorable draw or extend the match to the 5th and final day.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 11, 2017
In ODI and T20 series batting, bowling and fielding did not come together to expectation in any match. Fielding was extremely poor. Many catches, some easy ones were dropped. Ground fielding was also poor. Sloppy Fielding alone cost 40-50 runs in every match. Bangladesh may not create any contest if they do not vastly improve fielding. Batting was at times good creating dreams of upsetting hosts. But in crunch moments batsmen failed to consolidate and fell like a pack of cards. Similarly after a good start in bowling creating early inroads bowlers failed to keep the pressure sustained. Bangladesh must rise as a team in all three departments. Quality wise Bangladesh team is as good as the Kiwis. But what it lacks is an application.
Hope Tamim and Kayes have overcome the minor injuries they sustained in the last T20 match. Hope captain Mushfique has fully recovered. A good opening partnership from two proven openers is a must to keep Bangladesh in the test. A classic sparkling innings from Tamim would give a kick start to Bangladesh endeavor. Kayes looked in a hurry in limited over matches. He must not try to match his opening colleague stroke for strokes. Against very potent Kiwi new ball attack on a lively wicket that will not be easy. Mominul is a class act. But without any match practice at all in New Zealand condition we are unsure how talented Mominul would adjust. Mahmudullah could not play to potential over the ODI and T20 series though at times he showed glimpses of his quality. Mahmudullah and Mushfique hold the key to Bangladesh batting. We are not sure whether hamstring injury of Mustafiz has completely healed. If not Nurul Hasan may be required to keep wickets. Shakib did not play to his extraordinary high all round skill level so far in New Zealand. Trust the best of him would come out in tests. We would suggest playing Soumya and playing him at number 7 when bowlers would get wear out a bit.His pace bowling may become useful as well. Soumya got back to his stride in last two T20 matches. An inform Soumya can do and undo a lot. Bangladesh will require Miraj to carry on long bowling spells as all three pacers are attacking options. They should be used in short bursts with Miraj, Shakib bowling from another end. Bangladesh may risk playing with 7 batsmen three genuine pacers and two spinners. In that consideration Miraj, Rubel, Shubhashish and Taskin would be the ideal choice.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 11, 2017
My team for the first test would be
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Huq, Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain), Mahamudullah Riad, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mehedi Miraj, Rubel Hossain, Shubhashish Roy and Taskin Ahmed.
Home Team may be
Ken Williams (Captain), Henry Nichols, Dean Brownlie, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, BJ Watling, Mitchel Santner, Tim Southee, Matt Henry Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.
No sensible cricket admirer would expect Bangladesh creating upset. New Zealand is a very strong test team on home ground. Only a few days back strong Pakistan was comprehensively white washed. We will only want those Bangladeshi batsmen put a price on their wickets, bowlers bowl well and fielders take their chances. Extending matches to the fifth day and creating competitions are not outside the capabilities of Bengal tigers.
Image: Today Prediction
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