When Bangladesh last played against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy at England, they defeated the Kiwis in a virtual knock-out match to reach the semi finals
New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill was weary of the visitors Bangladesh’s threat in the One Day format of the game even though the Tigers have never defeated the Kiwis in their home territory.
When Bangladesh last played against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy at England, they defeated the Kiwis in a virtual knock-out match to reach the semi finals.
But Guptill believes that it’s a new start and a new series and his team can get the desired result.
Bangladesh had a 224-run partnership – their highest stand for any wicket in ODIs – as the Tigers chased down New Zealand’s 265 with Shakib al Hasan and Mahmudullah both getting centuries to script one of the best wins in the Tigers’ cricket history.
“Yeah Bangladesh are a quality side. They showed that in the Champions Trophy a few years ago when they beat us. But we are confident that we can get off to a good start and put them on the back foot. It’s a new game tomorrow and we’ll look to execute our plans and if we can do that properly, we should be able to get a good result,” Guptill said to the media at a press conference ahead of the first ODI in Napier.
However, Bangladesh lost their premier all-rounder and Test captain Shakib al Hasan to a finger injury in the final of the Bangladesh Premier League and that will likely keep him out of the entire tour.
Shakib had been in excellent form becoming the man-of-the-tournament in the BPL with 23 wickets and his record against New Zealand is also excellent.
He has scored the most number of runs for Bangladesh against New Zealand in ODIs with 575 runs and two centuries.
The left arm off-spinner has also has taken 35 wickets at an average of 25.74 which is by far the most by a Bangladeshi against the New Zealanders with pacer Rubel Hossain in second place with 21 wickets.
Guptill admitted that losing a player the calibre of Shakib’s would be a big loss for the Tigers but hoped that he could make a quick return to international cricket.
“He’s a world class player and it will be a big miss with him out injured unfortunately. Its cricket and injuries like this can happen. Hope he can make a recovery quickly and come back before the Test series ended,” the 32-year old opening batsman added.
So far Bangladesh and New Zealand have faced each other 31 times in ODIs with the Tigers winning on 10 occasions.
Whether it’s a bi-lateral series or a tournament, getting off to a winning start is essential and Guptill explained that both teams will have that in mind and want to start off on a winning note.
“Obviously there’s pressure on both teams to win. It’s about which team assesses the conditions the best and adapts accordingly and the team that does that better will come out on top,” Guptill concluded.