New Zealand tour of Bangladesh 2010 September 30, 2010

Shakib will be the biggest threat - Vettori

ESPNcricinfo staff

Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, has singled out Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan as the biggest threat for the visitors during the upcoming five-match ODI series in Mirpur.

"We have seen the Bangladesh team improve", Vettori said. "Obviously Shakib is probably their best player, so if we can nullify him we know we are going to win. He is a very good player, he has proven himself particularly in these conditions, so he is probably their main player."

Shakib, who is the vice-captain of the Bangladesh one-day team, is currently rated No. 1 in the ICC ranking for allrounders in ODIs. He has played 94 one-dayers, scoring 2465 runs and has picked up 109 wickets. Vettori, who is rated No. 5, said a comparison between him and Shakib was inevitable.

"I think we have some similarity, we both bat down the order at the same position and we both bowl left-arm spin," he said. "And Shakib was captain for a while, so there was some obvious comparison. The key for us hopefully is that we can play a role in our team winning. Obviously you want to try and out-think the opposition as much as you can. And Shakib is probably our main opposition."

Vettori said the absence of opener Tamim Iqbal, who was ruled out of the series due to surgery on his left wrist, was a big blow for Bangladesh. "Iqbal is injured, so that's a big loss for Bangladesh. He scored a lot of runs at the top of the order. So he will be a loss throughout the series."

Vettori had warned his side against complacency during the series, but was confident of his team's chances. "We know it's a tough task. But I think you have to play really well to win every game you have and that's the way to go.

"We are confident as we have got some very good players, particularly our batting line-up with [Jesse] Ryder, [Brendon] McCullum and [Ross] Taylor at the top, [and there are] a lot of expectations on us. We are looking forward to winning the series."

New Zealand's first warm-up match of the series, a one-dayer against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Savar scheduled for Friday, has been called off due to incessant rains. Vettori's side has another one-dayer against the same opponents on October 3, two days before the start of the ODIs.