Taylor wary of Bangladesh threat
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has played down any talk of revenge of his side's 2010 drubbing at the hands of Bangladesh, ahead of the first of two Tests. A sunny morning in Chittagong finally allowed the tourists their first outdoor training session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. The past two weeks had only seen rainy and gloomy weather, which had completely washed out the practice match at the MA Aziz Stadium.
New Zealand last visited the country for a bilateral series three years ago, which included only one-dayers. Taylor joked that he had forgotten all about the 4-0 loss. "Oh, until you mentioned it I forgot all about it. We need to be at the top of our game to not only compete but to put pressure on them as well," he said.
Taylor was wary of the hosts after what had happened in their only Test match at this venue five years ago. New Zealand won by three wickets, but not after conceding a first-innings lead, and being rescued by the then captain Daniel Vettori who scored two fifties. Taylor had made 12 and 9 in that game.
"The Test series last time was 1-0 here," Taylor said. "We were in a bit of trouble at one stage and Daniel [Vettori] and Co came and we batted really well. We are focusing on the Tests and we know that Bangladesh are a very good side in these conditions."
New Zealand are also aware of the individual threat that the Bangladesh players pose. Tamim Iqbal has five half-centuries in Tests and ODIs against them, while Shakib Al Hasan was the Man of the Series in 2010. The spinners Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi and Mahmudullah are also viewed as potential threats.
"Obviously Tamim and Shakib are world-class players. There's Abdur Razzak who has had a lot of success against us in the past," Taylor said. "We have seen a lot of [Sohag] Gazi through footage. Mahmudullah has played very well against us as well, scored a hundred in Hamilton.
"We have got some more scouting in the next couple of days. Cricket is a team game, but individuals approach each player. You give them a game plan and they figure out a formula. There are some good individuals in the Bangladesh side that we need to be aware of."
New Zealand's spin attack is inexperienced in comparison, but Taylor believes that Bruce Martin's wealth of experience in domestic cricket will be put to good use in spin-friendly conditions. Legspinner Ish Sodhi is the uncapped spinner in the squad, though it is likely that the tourists will go with the left-arm spin of Martin and the part-time offspin of Kane Williamson.
"Bangladesh wouldn't have seen a lot of them as well so that's a plus. Bruce Martin has been around for a long time, and has been very successful in domestic cricket, I am sure he will look to cement a spot in the Test arena and what better place than to do here than Bangladesh.
"Ish [Sodhi] is yet to make his Test debut as well, and if he does I am sure he will relish it. Any legspinner is going to be dangerous, if they put the ball in the right areas for a long time," he said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here