Bangladesh v NZ, 2nd Test, Mirpur

Bangladesh chase maiden Test win against NZ

The Preview by Mohammad Isam

October 20, 2013

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

October 21-25, 2013
Start time 0930 local (0330 GMT)


Hamish Rutherford works one off his pads, Bangladesh v New Zealand, 1st Test, Chittagong, day 1, October 9, 2013
Hamish Rutherford got starts in the first Test but needs to spend more time at the crease for a big knock © Associated Press
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Big picture

Given their reputation and track record preceding this series, the drawn first Test could be seen as a positive result for Bangladesh and a negative one for New Zealand. The two sides, however, seemed satisfied. Bangladesh appeared disappointed at not achieving a result, but chasing a total over 200 on the final day was going to be difficult. New Zealand, on the other hand, felt they got a just outcome.

The second and final Test of the series will offer a fascinating duel, given the desperation from both sides to win it. Bangladesh have a chance to claim their first Test win against New Zealand, and win the series, provided they clear a few barriers.

The home side did well in the first Test without big contributions from Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. In fact, Tamim struggled in the second innings, scoring 40-odd, while Shakib looked desperate to have a fifty under his belt. This hunger for runs among senior players before an important Test is a good sign for Bangladesh.

The performances of Sohag Gazi and Mominul Haque have been encouraging, particularly because both players were not certain picks before the series. Now they will need more performances to affirm the faith shown in them. Anamul Haque, Rubel Hossain and Robiul Islam will also look to come good and build on their records in the past year.

New Zealand have good pace bowlers in the side but their spinners nearly undermined the efforts of the rest of the attack. Left-arm spinner Bruce Martin bowled short and wide, and legspinner Ish Sodhi's honest effort on debut did not seem to threaten the Bangladesh batsmen.

Their batting is stronger. In Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson, New Zealand have the batsmen to change the course of the game, although McCullum is yet to find form. Williamson made 114 and 74 in the Chittagong Test, and looked comfortable grinding down the Bangladesh bowlers, while Taylor showed signs of form during his stays at the crease.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh DWLLD
New Zealand DLLDD

Watch out for

The first Test belonged to Sohag Gazi. He scored a maiden Test century with confidence, and then took six wickets in the second innings, including a hat-trick. The rare nature of his record will follow him from now on every time he comes in to bowl and bat.

Hamish Rutherford's starts in the first Test said much about his ability as an opening batsman. He gave it away in the first innings, while in the second he misread a straight delivery. He is an attractive player off the front foot, but has to last longer than an hour to make big runs on these pitches.

Team news

New Zealand could tweak their bowling attack, leaving out Martin for Neil Wagner or even Mark Gillespie. Corey Anderson did not have the most memorable debut Test - he bowled well but his batting returns were poor. However, it's likely he may keep his place ahead of Dean Brownlie. Barring any last-minute injuries, the rest of the side is likely to remain unchanged.


New Zealand (likely): 1 Peter Fulton, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Dean Brownlie/Corey Anderson, 6 Brendon McCullum (capt), 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Doug Bracewell, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Bruce Martin/Neil Wagner/Mark Gillespie

Bangladesh are unlikely to change the squad that drew only its second Test against New Zealand, unless there are injury concerns. Robiul Islam struggled to bowl long spells in Chittagong, and his fitness remains a worry. Anamul Haque is the only batsman in Bangladesh's top seven not to have made a score, so this match will be important for him.However, there were some murmurs of a third seamer being given a go in place of Abdur Razzak. Mushfiqur Rahim said the team will stick to the seven batsmen-four bowlers composition and the playing XI would only be finalised on the morning of the match.

Bangladesh (likely): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Marshall Ayub, 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Robiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain.

Stats and trivia

  • Sohag Gazi's hat-trick in the first Test was the first by a Bangladeshi spinner since Alok Kapali's achievement in 2003 against Pakistan.
  • The 27 sixes hit during the first Test equaled the record for most sixes hit in a Test match. The other game with 27 sixes was played between India and Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006.
  • Mominul Haque's 203 runs in the first Test is the second highest aggregate for a Bangladeshi batsman in Tests, behind Mohammad Ashraful's 212 runs.

Pitch and conditions

The Mirpur wicket will be slow, but will offer much to batsmen and spinners. The fast bowlers will struggle, although reverse swing is a possibility given the outfield conditions. There was heavy rain on Sunday morning and forecasts suggest more showers over the next week.

Quotes

"Our target will be to hold on to the consistency that we showed in the last game. My personal goal would be to take five wickets." Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi speaks about the collective and individual plans for the second Test

"We want to win the game rather than just draw it."
New Zealand opener Peter Fulton

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Mohammad Isam

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (October 21, 2013, 2:31 GMT)

I guess Mahmudullah needs to come in, in exchange of Razzak/Anamul. He is far more better bats man and also handy with the ball. he can add the left arm, right arm off spin combination when Gazi needs to send for some rest.Mushdfiq should utilize both Nasir and Mahmudullah to try out more off spin attack which NZ seems to struggle with.

Posted by More.blocks.than.a.leggo.box on (October 21, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

All we want to see in a test pitch is a good contest between bat and ball.

Posted by Bishop on (October 21, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

@B-Link Yes I remember that you beat us 4-0. It was a terrific result for Bangladesh cricket. But it was in the past. I also remember us beating you in the 7th over of a 50 over game. That was also some time ago. What we have now is two fairly evenly matched teams (in these conditions) each desperate for a win. It should be a great match. Let go of the past, and just enjoy the cricket.

Posted by SameOld on (October 21, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

Wagner in for Martin, straight swap. If Wagner's not 100%, Gillespie. Stick with Sodhi and Anderson. C'mon Kiwis!

Posted by AusieBangaleeShameem on (October 21, 2013, 0:02 GMT)

Stats and Trivia ---- Sohag Gazi is the only player in the test history who scored a hundred and had a hat-trick in the same match. You're a real Royal Bengal tiger mate -- You roar in Dhaka -- I salute you from Sydney. Good luck.

Posted by NZCricketfan1 on (October 20, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

Should be an interesting match. As a kiwi fan I understand why our Bangladeshi friends are hoping for victory. Its hard trying to develop a team and even harder supporting a team that often loses. Good luck to both sides.

As for my team I think our lack of spin options is a real problem. I think we should have taken Astle but hopefully Sodhi will do better. As for our batting if Taylor fires we should do well with Williamson, Fulton and Watling all showing patience in the last outing. I also think Rutherford is due for a big score. In the unlikely event the pitch offers anything for our quicks I will back us to win. Otherwise should be quite close.

Posted by reyme on (October 20, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

After reading the article I am stunned to find out BD team management is planning to play 3 pacers! Either these people lack common sense or simply gone mad. Pace is not their strength and we saw these pacers sometimes gets belted so hard they don't even survive 3 overs in a row. BD must prepare pure spin track to utilize the home condition and play to WIN. The captain must come out of his ultra defensive minded attitude and attack the batsmen with more close in fielders. He should know this is no ODI or T20 where he need to control runs or runrate. Ideally BD should play only one pacer, Robiul, 3 fulltime spinners like Razzak, Gazi, Enam/Saqlain plus Shakib who is still recovering from serious injury. Hopefully BD coaching staff will realize Spin is their strength, and that's what can earn them 20 wickets. By no means play 3 pacers, use some common sense, if cricket sense is not available! This is the best chance BD got to win a Test against a TOP 8 team, don't ruin it, please!

Posted by   on (October 20, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

Hoep the pitch is much better than the slow, low pitch used in the first test.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

The problem is we become so much defensive way before this test series. I am really concern while we can come out with a win against big boys in test arena. BD should plan way before a test series and always play for win , best use their strength both in domestic and international matches.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2013, 20:34 GMT)

It still amazes me why we don't make a spinning track like the Sri Lankans and Indians often do. Home advantage is a well accepted practice. Why not utilize it by playing to our strengths? I mean the Kiwis, Aussies and Proteas do make our lives pretty difficult with their pitches whenever we are there

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