Bangladesh vs New Zealand 1st Test: Preview and Prediction
After the ODI format, it is not time for the New Zealand cricket team to cross swords with the Bangladesh team in the longest format of the game. The two teams are all set to play the first Test of the two-match series from Tuesday onwards at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.
The New Zealand cricket team will be buzzing with confidence as they dished out a good performance in the just-concluded ICC ODI World Cup in India. Though the team failed to reach to the final, they ended up in the top four. Moreover, the Blackcaps will be playing with their full strength as all the players are available for selection.
Under Tim Southee’s captaincy, players like Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, and Mitchell Santner are likely to play a crucial role for the visitors.
The Kiwis will be trying to ace the ongoing 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship as all of their three away series are in the subcontinent and starting with a 2-0 win against Bangladesh would be crucial for the Southee-led side.
As far as the Bangladesh cricket team is concerned, they have picked up a relatively young and inexperienced squad for the Test series. Many senior players, including the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Litton Das, Taskin Ahmed, and Tamim Iqbal, will be unavailable for selection.
Najmul Hossain Shanto has been picked as the leader of the squad with Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Taijul Islam, essaying the role of senior players.
What has happened so far?
Before the two-match Test series, New Zealand and Bangladesh played against each other in the three-match ODI series. The three ODIs saw New Zealand excelling in all three facets of the game to ensure a victory for their team by 2-0. The first ODI did not fetch any result as rain played the spoilsport in Dhaka.
However, the second ODI saw the New Zealand team smacking 254 runs in their allotted 50 overs and then restricting the hosts to a score of 168 runs. Bangladesh failed to redeem their massive 86-run loss in the final match as they recorded another defeat by seven wickets. It was again a batting failure as in the first innings; the team ended up with only 171 runs and New Zealand chased the total within 34.5 overs.
Head to Head Record
Bangladesh cricket team has locked horns with the New Zealand team in only 17 Test matches so far. The Blackcaps enjoy domination over the Tigers by a big margin in the longest format of the game, as they have won a total of 13 games.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has scored just one victory while three matches between the two teams did not fetch any results.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh): Bangladesh will be without the services of a lot of their senior players in the first Test against New Zealand. Thus, the responsibility of scoring runs and taking the team to the win falls on the shoulders of the all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
The hosts have picked up a relatively younger squad for the two-match series and thus Miraz is likely to play the responsibility of being the guiding light for the young guns. He has played in a total of 39 Test matches so far, scoring 1245 runs at an average of 19.45.
The 26-year-old also has an impressive 151 wickets to his name at an economy rate of 3.12 and an average of 33.44. The home conditions can further assist Mehidy in leaving a big impact on the series.
Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand): Following some terrific performances this year, especially in the ICC events, Rachin Ravindra has established himself as the next big thing in the New Zealand cricket team. The spin all-rounder made heads turn with his stellar performance in the recently concluded ICC ODI World Cup 2023, both with the bat and ball. He was the fourth-highest run-getter in the marquee event with 578 runs in ten matches at an average of over 64.
Speaking of his performance in the Tests, Rachin has played only three games so far for the New Zealand team and has scored 73 runs at an average of 14.6. He also has three wickets to his name at an average of 62 and an economy rate of over 3. He is expected to better his records in the purest format in the series against Bangladesh.
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee ©, Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner
Bangladesh: Zakir Hasan (wk), Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto ©, Mominul Haque, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shoriful Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Taijul Islam
The New Zealand cricket team boasts of having a rich experience and history in the longest format of the game, as compared to the Bangladesh cricket team, Thus, they would have better chances of winning the first Test, starting from Tuesday, and take a lead of 1-0 in the two-match series.
Moreover, the team has displayed good form in the recent past in all formats of the game and they will have almost all the players available for selection. Having said that, the Bangladesh team can also pose a good fight considering they will be playing in home conditions.