Stung New Zealand battle to save face
Match FactsSunday, October 17, Mirpur
Start time 9:00 am (0300 GMT)
The Big Picture
New Zealand's preparation for the 2011 World Cup has had a disappointing start that has dealt a big blow to their pride. Bangladesh are a team that Daniel Vettori's side, amid the customary pronouncements of "not taking the opposition lightly", would have been confident of conquering. But New Zealand have floundered against Shakib Al Hasan's all-round heroics and Bangladesh's array of spinners, enabling the hosts to achieve their first ODI series win against a full-strength Test-playing nation.
Greater challenges lie ahead for New Zealand, with a tour of India starting next month, and any further humiliation augurs badly for a full series in tougher conditions. Their batting has let them down with its inconsistency. The performances of the senior players like Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor have been erratic while the newer faces have yielded mixed results. BJ Watling and Shanan Stewart haven't had the best of series while Kane Williamson shone in the fourth ODI but was unable to complete the job.
The implications of another loss against Bangladesh are significant. A 4-0 defeat is effectively a clean sweep at the hands of a team that had, so far, been one of international cricket's punching bags - one that has now introduced a measure of consistency to its ability to surprise. And New Zealand, who were No. 2 in the ICC ODI rankings during the the tri-series in Sri Lanka in August, will slip down to No.7, while Bangladesh will move up to No.8, level with West Indies.
Form guide(most recent first)
New Zealand: LLLLL
Watch out for...
Daniel Vettori has been New Zealand's best bowler this series but has been less influential on the outcome than his Bangladeshi counterpart. Both, apart from being captains, are the best players of their respective teams and have borne a disproportionate amount of responsibility amid lack of support from the rest. Vettori's not had an impact with the bat this series, unlike Shakib, and has lost out in their battle. A winless series, however, will hurt and the New Zealand captain will be determined to salvage a success, preferably a commanding one to restore some confidence.
Bangladesh's spin attack has been the talking point with regards to their bowling but Rubel Hossain has led the fast-bowling department well, containing the scoring and using his variations, particularly the slower ball, intelligently in a good supporting role. Rubel's been expensive in his career so far with an economy rate of 5.99 but, in Bangladesh's series win on Thursday, he bowled one of his most economical spells.
Bangladesh would want to reinforce their dominance on their tour with a fourth win and Shakib is likely to go in with the side that won on Thursday.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Imrul Kayes, 2 Shahriar Nafees, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Raqibul Hasan, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Suhrawadi Shuvo, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain.
New Zealand, too, would want to play their best-available line-up and that would mean Jesse Ryder returning to the top of the order after missing the fourth ODI.
New Zealand (possible): 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Ross Taylor, 4 BJ Watling, 5 Kane Williamson, 6 Grant Elliott, 7 Daniel Vettori (capt), 8 Kyle Mills, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Daryl Tuffey, 11 Hamish Bennett.
Stats and trivia
- New Zealand have been beaten 4-0 or worse in a bilateral series eight times. Bangladesh have swept aside Kenya and Zimbabwe in four and five-match series.
- There have been 25 instances of players scoring a century and grabbing three or more wickets in the same ODI. Shakib Al Hasan, on Thursday, became the first Bangladesh player to achieve that double.
"We should have adapted quicker than we have. We put ourselves in tough positions with the bat. One game left, it's a must win for us. We must restore some pride in the last game."
"If we can maintain the winning habit then we will be in a great state of mind when the World cup arrives and here we are a match for any team and capable of beating any side, particularly those that are not from the subcontinent."
Shakib Al Hasan
Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at Cricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.