Published: Sunday, 25 Dec 2016, 09:48 pm
For Bangladesh, the greatest positive is the return of Mustafizur Rahman, who impressed with 2 for 39 in the warm-up game. It was his first competitive game after a five-month layoff, which included shoulder surgery. The 21-year-old left-arm seamer, reputed for his decietful cutters and subtle variations, has been key to Bangladesh's ODI successes at home and will look to continue in the same vein, spurred on by the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year award he got last week.
The visitor will hope that senior players like Mashrafe Mortaza, the captain, Shakib Al Hasan, the all-rounder, Tamim Iqbal, the opener, and Mushfiqur Rahim, the wicketkeeper, perform as a unit to lead the bunch of promising but underexposed youngsters by example.
New Zealand will hope to lift its game against Bangladesh. Kane Williamson, the captain, is undergoing a rare lean patch and would like to get some runs under his belt to boost the team morale. The team is also missing Ross Taylor, the experienced campaigner still recovering from an eye surgery. But, following the Australia setback, it resisted the urge for wholesale changes and has only recalled veterans Neil Broom and Luke Ronchi.
Only six players remain from the squad of 15 that took New Zealand to the ICC Cricket World Cup final last year – including Ronchi, who has made a comeback – while Broom, who last played an ODI seven years ago, has been given another chance following good form in the domestic circuit.