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October 6, 2013
Shane Bond, the New Zealand fast bowling coach, has said the side would be looking to exploit Bangladesh's weakness against pace when the first Test begins on Wednesday.
"Even though the wickets here are low and slow, I think history suggests that the quick bowlers have done well against Bangladesh," he said. "They are, no doubt, very tough in their own conditions and good players of spin bowling. So I think it's going to be hard work.
"It's going to be hot and the wickets are going to be flat, but they [New Zealand's seamers] still have to have an aggressive mindset, be willing to bowl short deliveries and pitch the ball up. So that's a pretty simple message that I'll be delivering to our seam bowlers."
Accurate fast bowling has troubled Bangladesh for as long as they have been around in international cricket. Six out of the top ten wicket-takers against Bangladesh are fast bowlers. Bond himself has taken 11 wickets in two Tests more than a decade ago.
Over the last few years however, the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and lately Nasir Hossain has shown a lot of confidence against fast bowling, especially at home and consequently the Bangladesh top-order's chances of surviving against quality pace attacks has increased. So in addition to maintaining discipline with the new ball, Bond wanted his bowlers to make the older ball count.
"Hitting the stumps would probably be a good thing [with the older ball]. We have gone through the Bangladeshi players, the way they play. Some of them are really similar in their style of play," Bond said. "We have very specific plans for them, so whether it's the old ball or the new ball the main thing is to put the ball in your desired spot and execute the plans properly. We have done that well as a group in the last few years."
Reverse-swing is another advantage that Trent Boult and coach Mike Hesson have highlighted after arriving in Bangladesh, but Bond doubted whether it can be produced in the outfield at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
"I am not sure [if we can utlilise it]. It depends on the condition if you look at the field out there its very lush and there are only a few dry strips so that might take the reverse swing out of the equation a little bit."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
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