Two teams who had a dream start to their World Cup campaign’s lock horns today at the Kennington Oval, London. New Zealand who absolutely hammered Sri Lanka in their first game of the tournament look a very strong team. Armed with brilliant batting and very good bowling for the conditions we have here in England, they are surely one of the strong contenders for the final four spot. The New Zealand batting did not get too much time in the middle in their first game except for the openers who looked in great touch.
New Zealand’s batting is strong with attacking openers in Martin Guptil and Colin Munro followed by the experience of captain Kane Williamson and veteran Ross Taylor. The top 4 give great stability to their batting line up. Tom Latham adds further depth to their batting and complete the top 5. Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner lend great balance to their XI with their all-round ability. The bowling attack for the last game most probably will stay with Trent Boult and Matt Henry takingthe new ball and Lockie Ferguson providing the X-Factor with pace.
For Bangladesh though their victory over South Africa will give them great confidence. They are a much improved team and are expected now to beat any opposition they face without it being a surprise. Bangladesh batters did a great job with the bat posting a very good 330 against a good South African attack.
The biggest positive for Bangladesh is that their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is in great form with both bat and the ball. He scored an impressive 78 in partnership with Mushfiqur Rahim who scored an attacking 75 himself as well. Soumya Sarkar at the top of the order has looked in great touch. Tamim Iqbal who returned from injury is yet to take off but again they will be hoping he will be soon among runs.
In terms of bowling Mustafizur Rahman has been in brilliant form with the ball and with all the spinners bowling well they look a good team for the dry pitches at this time of the year in England.
Head to Head:
New Zealand hold a distinct advantage over Bangladesh overall in ODIs with a 24-10Win/Loss record. In the World Cup though New Zealand have completely dominated Bangladesh to have 4-0 record against the Tigers.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh): Shakib is Bangladesh’s best player and is the most crucial member of their playing XI. He is a very good bat and bats in the top order and is a very good left-arm spin bowler. Shakib has done very well against New Zealand scoring 575 runs at 30 and taking 35 wickets at 25 in just 21 games.
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh): Mustafizur is Bangladesh’s best seamer. Even though they have other pace bowlers including their captain Mashrafe Mortaza but he is the leader of their attack. Mustafizur has a brilliant ODI record with 86 wickets at just 22.9 and an economy rate of under 5 runs per over. He will be crucial with the new ball and also at the death with his cutters and slower ones.
Trent Boult (New Zealand): Trent Boult is one of the best pace bowlers in the world. When the ball is swinging or if there is a bit of grass on the surface there is no better bowling in world cricket who can exploit it as effectively as Boult can do. He has already looked in wonderful touch and his record in ODIs is phenomenal. He has done very well against Bangladesh as well in the past and he will be the one the Bangladesh batsmen will be weary about especially with the new ball.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand): Despite having Kane Williamson in the playing XI, there is wide consensus that Ross Taylor probably New Zealand’s best ODI player at the moment. His ODI record is brilliant but over the last 3 years it has been absolutely unbelievable. He has 2319runs at 64.41 during that time at a good strike rate of 85. He provides the right balance to the batting line up of New Zealand and bats at that crucial number 4 spot.
What they said?
“When we played them [last time] it was at their own back yard but it is different now. It is always difficult to play in other venues. At the end of the day we know them and they know us so whoever will play better is expected to win,” Sarkar told reporters
“We’ve played Bangladesh a lot over the last couple seasons, we sort of know how they go about things, and recent tournaments, they have obviously played really well in the Champions Trophy a few years ago, then obviously their game here a few days ago. So we know what threats they have on their side but hopefully we can stick to the things that we do well and keep going on the momentum that we built up a few days ago” – Tom Latham.
Probable Playing XI’s:
New Zealand Xi:
Martin Guptil, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (Capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (Wkt), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
Tamim Iqbal, Sowmya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wkt), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza (Capt), Mustafizur Rahman.
Both teams will be in confident frame of mind for tonight’s game after convincing wins in their respective previous encounters. The head to head record and the overall strength of the XI tilts the balance slightly in the favour of the Kiwis. This will be yet another interesting game and the winner is hard to predict as it has been through this tournament so far.