A hard exam is waiting for Bangladesh today. After losing and being whitewashed in ODI and T20I, Tigers are looking to the remaining test matches. With all enthusiasm and hopes, they have already practiced and prepared themselves yesterday at Basin Reserve. Now, it is time to prove themselves in the green field.
There has been significant interest around the pitch for the first Test at Basin Reserve. New Zealand has already made some changes for this pitch condition. Veteran Ross Taylor has included on the brink of equaling his late mentor Martin Crowe's record for New Zealand centuries. Bowling spearhead Trent Boult also has joined in the squad. It seems that New Zealand also have taken Bangladesh seriously and they don't want to take any risk. However, It is not a surprise that such a surface will be difficult for Bangladesh, who are playing their first overseas Test since September 2014. So, most of the responsibility will rest on Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and the captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah did well in the ODI and T20I series respectively and will have to show patience on the field. Sabbir Rahman is set to play at seven, a challenge for the batsman playing his first overseas Test match. Debutant Taskin Ahmed hopes that the upcoming Wellington test will be a good chance to do well for Tigers. He believes that the condition is suitable for pacers. The green pitch will also be a challenge for the New Zealand batsmen. Kane Williamson expected Jeet Raval and Tom Latham will give them a good start. But, Black caps focus on their stronger middle order as they have veteran Ross Taylor. Tigers captain Mushfiqur Rahim is also looking for his batsmen to prove themselves in unfamiliar conditions which something they were unable to do in the limited-over matches.
"Our main challenge will be for the batsmen to set up the Test match for the bowlers. We have to put up a good enough total for the bowlers to defend," he said. "Some of them like Tamim (Iqbal), Shakib (Al Hasan) and Mahmudullah have done well in Tests here in the past but now we need a collective effort from the batsmen, which we failed to do in the ODIs and T20s. We are capable so this is our opportunity to do it," he added.
Muhfiqur believed that he had the weaponry to produce Bangladesh's first Test win over New Zealand if his bowlers can stick to their game plan. "The pace bowlers have to take over the attacking role that the spinners have in home Tests. Bowlers do get excited by extra bounce but the best ball here, like any other pitch, is one that targets the top of off-stump," he said.
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