Kiwis cannot fly. Singapore Airways Commercial flight flew understrength Black Caps squad to Dhaka for a five match T20 International series against Bangladesh. Two members of the squad Fin Allen and Colin de Grandhomme arrived a couple days earlier after playing 100 ball blasts in England.
This is after 8 years Kiwis are in Bangladesh. Led by Kiwi national player Tom Latham this squad does not however have any player that would feature for them in upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled to be played at UAE and Oman next month. Bangladesh in the recent past badly bruised, battered and humiliated understrength Australian team winning a low scoring 5 matches T20 series (4-1).
This Black Cap squad is reasonably stronger than Australian team as a batting unit having some white ball specialists. At least 8 of them represented New Zealand in different format and some of them played against Bangladesh as well. Team also includes some future national potential.
Bangladesh in the past-whitewashed full strength New Zealand team twice in ODI series played in Bangladesh. But Bangladesh lost all 10 T20 matches played between the two teams so far. On home condition on low, slow, gripping SBNCS wicket, in the present state Bangladesh is clear favorite. Bangladesh despite achieving 4-1 win against Australia ranks 10th. A 3-2 series win would elevate to 6th rank, 4-1 or 5-0 win would place them to rank 5. If that happens Bangladesh would have possibility to qualify automatically for 2022 ICC T20 World cup in Australia. It is possible, but given the depth and quality of New Zealand cricket now it may not be that easy. Kiwis would be far more competitive.
New Zealand Squad:
Tom Latham (captain, wicket-keeper), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wicket-keeper), Doug Bracewell, Colin D’Grandhome, Jacob Duffy, Scott Kuglejan, Cole McNechn, Henry Nichols, Henry Nichols, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, and Will Young.
Eight members of the squad represented New Zealand national team in different format. Latham, Allen, Henry Nichols, Colin de Grandhomme, Mat Henry are white ball specialists. They played against Bangladesh also even in the recent past. Blundel, Bracewell, Will Young and Ben Sears are rated high for emerging as Kiwi player of future. Moreover, this team not under pressure of the immediate future world cup assignment. Bangladesh would play out of their skins for winning against them. This team off course would have weaker attack than Australians. But with Henry, Sears, Grandhome, Bracewell. Rachin Ravindra there is no less quality.
They have seen how Australians struggled at SBNCS wicket. They are smart cookies. Kiwi think tank thought it wise not sending any of their World cup squad as they thought that would be waste of time. Playing on a completely opposite nature wicket their world cup squad would not have ideal preparation. Rather they would be fatigued.
The task is well cut out for the home team. Mushfique and Liton joining the squad would definitely boost the batting. Bangladesh batted poorly against Australia. There is no guarantee that batting would significantly improve against New Zealand as well. We do not think t20 matches cannot be won regularly scoring 131, 127 and 122. The primary target would be winning yet another series. But this being the last series against the world cup Bangladesh must make some experiments with fringe players in the squad. Key players must not be match fatigued.
All matches would be played at SBNCS, Dhaka:
• 1st T20: 01 September (Wednesday), 2021
• 2nd T20: 03 September (Friday), 2021
• 3rd T20: 05 September (Sunday), 202
• 4th T20: 08 September (Wednesday), 2021
• 5th T20: 10 September (Friday), 2021.
Again, mentioning that Bangladesh is clear favorite but nothing should be taken for guaranteed. Kiwis play their cricket mostly on hard bouncy pacey wickets in windy condition. But they are fresh and would have time to acclimatize.