Tigers take on new-look New Zealand in 1st T20 tomorrow

DHAKA – Bangladesh is determined to change their fortune as they take on New Zealand in the first of three-match T20 International series tomorrow (Sunday) at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

The match starts at Bangladesh Standard Time 7 am and will be aired live at Bangladesh Television (BTV), Gazi Television and T-Sports.

Despite being swept 3-0 in ODI series, the change of format, however, gives Bangladesh the belief to do well, considering the fact that in the T20 format, there is little difference between big team and small team.

“We’re disappointed with the way that we played in the ODI series” Bangladesh T20 format captain Mahmudullah Riyad said in a recorded video message sent by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) today.

“We believe, we can’t perform as per our ability [in ODI series]. T20 is such a format where there is no difference between the big team and small team. What matters in T20 cricket is to perform on a given day, whatever the
rankings of the teams are. If one or two players perform well and if we can play as a team, do well in bowling and fielding, we can still beat any team in this format. That’s what we believe.”

Even though Mahmudullah spoke boldly and still believes they can conquer the condition of New Zealand, their performance in T20 format didn’t speak in their favour.

They so far played 96 T20 matches, won just 32 and lost 62 matches. The rest of the two matches were washed out. Against New Zealand, they still remained win, less after playing seven matches.

Moreover on New Zealand soil, they didn’t win any match as of now and after being whitewashed in three-match ODI series, their losing streak here stretched to 29 (16 ODIs, 9 Tests and 4 T20Is).

“We know, the condition of New Zealand is always challenging for us. We’ve seen that in ODI series too. While they utilized their condition well, we can’t do that.”

According to Mahmudullah, it is Bangladesh’s batting which let them down in the ODI series. “As a batting unit, we couldn’t do well. Our bowlers however performed up to the mark. We had done some mistakes for which we couldn’t bring the result in our favour,” Mahmudullah pointed out.

He further said if they can play fearless brand of cricket, forgetting what happened in the ODI series, they can still win the T20 series.

“If we can play a fearless brand of cricket, it is very much possible to bring the result in our favour. I believe, we have immense hunger for victory here. We are desperate to win. Hopefully we will play our best cricket tomorrow,” he remarked.

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.

While New Zealand would field a new-look side, still they are believed to be a tough opponent, considering the fielding and batting firepower they have. Bangladesh on the hand, showed a lackluster fielding effort in entire
ODI series in which they put down five crucial catches that turned the match in Kiwis favour. Mahmudullah admitted their mistakes in fielding, saying that they need to plug those loopholes in T20 series.BSS