Bangladesh v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Mirpur October 31, 2013

NZ uneasy but focused on bigger goals, says Mills

  shares 22

Kyle Mills, the New Zealand fast bowler, has conceded that the series defeat to Bangladesh has made the team uneasy, but said the side is also focused on a long-term goal of the 2015 World Cup. New Zealand lost the second ODI in Mirpur by 40 runs to concede the three-match series to Bangladesh. The loss was also their sixth successive defeat against Bangladesh in completed matches, dating back to the last bilateral series between the two sides in 2010.

"We are trying to build a team towards the 2015 World Cup," Mills said. "It is in 15 months' time and that's the most important thing right now. The conditions in Australia and New Zealand are going to be a lot different from here. Corey Anderson and James Neesham are going to be prepared for the pressure-cooker environment in that tournament. But we have learned a lot in the past few weeks.

"Every loss puts pressure on players and management. We have been a good one-day side in the past 12 months, winning series overseas but we lost here. Everyone is going to be on edge, naturally."

It's an interesting way to view the events in Mirpur over the last three days. The composition of the New Zealand ODI squad suggests they are planning for the 50-over World Cup more than a year away, particularly with their choice of medium-paced allrounders. However, it would be silly to think they weren't adequately prepared to win in Bangladesh. New Zealand's last series loss to Bangladesh was a blow to the country's cricket and New Zealand Cricket intervened after the loss, conducting a review of the tour.

In spite of focusing on the big picture, New Zealand went down on Thursday night by 40 runs, a big defeat for a team ranked above Bangladesh. Early wickets didn't allow the visitors momentum and they failed to put together a decent partnership that would threaten the home side. The batsmen let down the bowlers, who kept things tight on a good batting wicket and bowled Bangladesh out for 247, a below-par score batting first at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

"We didn't get off to the greatest starts, we lost early wickets. Every time we tried to build a partnership, we lost a wicket," Mills said. "Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson, and then Brendon McCullum and Taylor, got a partnership going but we lost wickets there. It let us down a little bit.

"We did well with the ball. Corey Anderson and James Neesham really stepped up. That's definitely a total we could have chased down. The conditions were difficult, but the partnerships let us down."

Brendon McCullum has not scored too many runs on this tour and the side would have missed Kane Williamson, out due to injury. But Mills was adamant about the team's improvement, mainly due to New Zealand's series victories against South Africa and England earlier this year.

"I don't think it [Bangladesh's winning streak] is a mental block whatsoever," he said. "We beat South Africa and England recently on their shores. Bangladesh are a good cricket side in their own conditions. Everyone's building towards the 2015 World Cup. Conditions will be lot different for them there."

New Zealand's biggest target now would be to ensure they don't go down 3-0, which will be a repeat of the whitewash they endured in 2010. The third and final ODI of the series is at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium, a ground on which they have never played a game.

"I think we can [avoid the whitewash]. We were not too far in the first game but Rubel got three wickets from three balls. It was obviously disappointing tonight," he said. "It is a tough challenge here to play in these conditions. We want to end ODI series on a high. Everyone will be up no doubt."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • maddp on November 1, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    The results really do show that NZ still has a real problem in our lack of batting depth. With Guptill and Williamson out through injury, and Ryder out of the game recently, the batting order looks pretty average, particularly with McCullum seemingly out of form. Taylor is a bit of a lone hand, Anderson being the only other to really put his hand up (though Elliot deserves a mention for his effort in the first ODI). I really hope everyone is fit for the world cup, a top eight of Guptill, Ryder, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Anderson, Neesham, Vettori + 3 bowlers looks good, but there aren't many others who will be putting pressure on them, so we'll have to hold our breath and hope they're all fit!

  • choppa13 on October 31, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Nevermind 2015 worry about winning now. As a staunch NZ supporter I have found these last 2 performances a little hard to handle. Credit must go to Bangladesh for they have performed well. But some of the NZ players need to take account of themselves. Brendon unfortunately is playing as a specialist captain and really and I mean really needs to step up because I am struggling to see how he can fit into this team(dont get me wrong I am a huge mccullum fan). The openers are making it easy for guptill and Ryder to walk straight back in. With the change of venue hopefully that can bring a change of fortunes for NZ considering the last 6 losses have been at the same place for a 3-0 scoreline could be another disaster waiting to happen. NZ fans your thoughts?

  • on November 2, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    While the focus is now on NZ , I think Bangladesh need to prevent a repitation of what happened during the aftermath of previous series win vs NZ. BD crumbled badly under the weight of expectation and embarrassed themselves in the world cup. Another world cup at home is around the corner and we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground

  • Rafelgibt on November 2, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Its really funny and inappropriate from Mills that we are preparing for the 2015 world cup.What an excuse to be get defeated????LOL

  • on November 1, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    actually now NZ become a weaker team than Bangladesh and so they will be white wash meant bangla wash.

    Typed with Panini Keypad

  • BlackCaps76 on November 1, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    I'm a passionate NZ cricket fan but I'm afraid it's tough to digest the latest line of excuses from the NZ team about 'focusing on the World Cup in 15 months time'. The World Cup is irrelevant to this series, as much as this series is irrelevant to the World Cup. Mills has admitted as much in the article by reference to different conditions. The fact of the matter is NZ's batting has not been able to match Bangladesh's. It's time they batted first and hopefully post a decent enough score for them to defend. Five out of the six losses 2010 and 2013 have been through failure to chase successfully. I also feel Ross Taylor is the principal culprit of NZ's loss in game 2. He soaked up 82 balls for his 45 so failed to convert after spending that time at the crease. His wicket was the turning point in NZ's chase. High time the batsmen stood up and took accountability. Brendon McCullum should open in game 3 (drop Devcich or Rutherford) with Ronchi slotting in as keeper.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 1, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    As a keen follower of NZ cricket, I am bitterly disappointed at this performance against BD. Either NZ took BD lightly OR they simply didn't care much about this series. Either way, they lost and that's not good. A team's true mettle comes in foreign conditions. NZ have always struggled in the subcontinent but BD are still an inexperienced and greenhorn team; to lose against them goes to show how much NZ cricket has sunk. Full credit to BD though. For the second consecutive time within 5 years, they have beaten a full strength NZ side in an ODI series. All is bright for Bangladeshi cricket, for NZ it's back to the drawing board in time for WC 2015.

  • Samad.Sylhet.Mitali.Raynogor on November 1, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    NZ no worries you guys are Superb cricketers i am sure NZ will fill much comfy playing at your backyard. Best wishes for the 2015 world cup.

  • SarfBD on November 1, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Some may think this series defeat is end of world for NZ. But it's time acknowledge that Bangladesh have finally finding some ground. On home condition Bangladesh can defeat any team. As an admirer of NZ cricket, I can see some really promising future in Anderson, Neesham and others. The world of cricket is obsessed with 4 nations. But may be it's time to give some attention to rest of the teams. Best of luck NZ (not for the next match though :p)

  • shane-oh on November 1, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    @ Mohammad Asheque Hossain - it you make even a weak attempt to stay in touch with reality, or have any knowledge of cricket whatsoever, you will know that Mills has been one of the best ODI bowlers in the world for many years now - including a long spell ranked number 1, and most of his career ranked in our around the top 10. Please, stick to facts rather than emotional nonsense.

  • maddp on November 1, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    The results really do show that NZ still has a real problem in our lack of batting depth. With Guptill and Williamson out through injury, and Ryder out of the game recently, the batting order looks pretty average, particularly with McCullum seemingly out of form. Taylor is a bit of a lone hand, Anderson being the only other to really put his hand up (though Elliot deserves a mention for his effort in the first ODI). I really hope everyone is fit for the world cup, a top eight of Guptill, Ryder, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Anderson, Neesham, Vettori + 3 bowlers looks good, but there aren't many others who will be putting pressure on them, so we'll have to hold our breath and hope they're all fit!

  • choppa13 on October 31, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Nevermind 2015 worry about winning now. As a staunch NZ supporter I have found these last 2 performances a little hard to handle. Credit must go to Bangladesh for they have performed well. But some of the NZ players need to take account of themselves. Brendon unfortunately is playing as a specialist captain and really and I mean really needs to step up because I am struggling to see how he can fit into this team(dont get me wrong I am a huge mccullum fan). The openers are making it easy for guptill and Ryder to walk straight back in. With the change of venue hopefully that can bring a change of fortunes for NZ considering the last 6 losses have been at the same place for a 3-0 scoreline could be another disaster waiting to happen. NZ fans your thoughts?

  • on November 2, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    While the focus is now on NZ , I think Bangladesh need to prevent a repitation of what happened during the aftermath of previous series win vs NZ. BD crumbled badly under the weight of expectation and embarrassed themselves in the world cup. Another world cup at home is around the corner and we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground

  • Rafelgibt on November 2, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Its really funny and inappropriate from Mills that we are preparing for the 2015 world cup.What an excuse to be get defeated????LOL

  • on November 1, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    actually now NZ become a weaker team than Bangladesh and so they will be white wash meant bangla wash.

    Typed with Panini Keypad

  • BlackCaps76 on November 1, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    I'm a passionate NZ cricket fan but I'm afraid it's tough to digest the latest line of excuses from the NZ team about 'focusing on the World Cup in 15 months time'. The World Cup is irrelevant to this series, as much as this series is irrelevant to the World Cup. Mills has admitted as much in the article by reference to different conditions. The fact of the matter is NZ's batting has not been able to match Bangladesh's. It's time they batted first and hopefully post a decent enough score for them to defend. Five out of the six losses 2010 and 2013 have been through failure to chase successfully. I also feel Ross Taylor is the principal culprit of NZ's loss in game 2. He soaked up 82 balls for his 45 so failed to convert after spending that time at the crease. His wicket was the turning point in NZ's chase. High time the batsmen stood up and took accountability. Brendon McCullum should open in game 3 (drop Devcich or Rutherford) with Ronchi slotting in as keeper.

  • Cpt.Meanster on November 1, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    As a keen follower of NZ cricket, I am bitterly disappointed at this performance against BD. Either NZ took BD lightly OR they simply didn't care much about this series. Either way, they lost and that's not good. A team's true mettle comes in foreign conditions. NZ have always struggled in the subcontinent but BD are still an inexperienced and greenhorn team; to lose against them goes to show how much NZ cricket has sunk. Full credit to BD though. For the second consecutive time within 5 years, they have beaten a full strength NZ side in an ODI series. All is bright for Bangladeshi cricket, for NZ it's back to the drawing board in time for WC 2015.

  • Samad.Sylhet.Mitali.Raynogor on November 1, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    NZ no worries you guys are Superb cricketers i am sure NZ will fill much comfy playing at your backyard. Best wishes for the 2015 world cup.

  • SarfBD on November 1, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Some may think this series defeat is end of world for NZ. But it's time acknowledge that Bangladesh have finally finding some ground. On home condition Bangladesh can defeat any team. As an admirer of NZ cricket, I can see some really promising future in Anderson, Neesham and others. The world of cricket is obsessed with 4 nations. But may be it's time to give some attention to rest of the teams. Best of luck NZ (not for the next match though :p)

  • shane-oh on November 1, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    @ Mohammad Asheque Hossain - it you make even a weak attempt to stay in touch with reality, or have any knowledge of cricket whatsoever, you will know that Mills has been one of the best ODI bowlers in the world for many years now - including a long spell ranked number 1, and most of his career ranked in our around the top 10. Please, stick to facts rather than emotional nonsense.

  • on November 1, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Looking towards future without keeping an eye in your present, is never a good idea. When Kiwis were whitewashed in 2010 they gave similar excuses. I think a more sporting and mature response is to say, 'okay we are not playing well. We must step up our game'. And that must start from the Captain.

  • on November 1, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    yeah keep on blaming the conditions. not surprised to see a mediocre bowler like Mills once again putting the blame on the pitches. We will see what the Tigers do in the 2015 World Cup. So you can stop worrying about us rather worry about yourselves !!

  • kiwicricketnut on November 1, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    @ choppa13, mccullum is in a rut no doubt but he has won us enough odi's and t20's for me to not get on his back just yet, its the tests where i have a problem with mccullum, he really just doesn't command a place in the test side, not since lee germon have we played a specialest captain when we went through a similar rut in the 90's, we just arn't a good enough team to be effectively playing with ten men so in tests he has to go, the odi stuff on the other hand, he is one of the most destructive players in the world, with ryder and guptill at the top guys like taylor, anderson and mccullum in the middle and williamson the glue that holds the innings together, i think the world cup plan, despite the recent loss is looking quite promising, just need to wrap vettori up in cotton wool for the cup, in home conditions we should be a real chance to lift the cup for the first time.

  • SameOld on November 1, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    @choppa13: A fellow BMac fan, I am nonetheless beginning to agree with his detractors. If he's a middle-order bat that doesn't "score many hundreds" (his words, roughly), he needs to consistantly get 40-60. Occasionally getting 40-60 is not enough for a 32 yr-old batsman, in Tests or ODIs. When Guptill & Ryder return, his spot must be under pressure. The batsmen looked clueless last night, it was painful to watch. But Taylor (again) found a way to nurdle and nudge out 40-odd. This is what we need from our captain.

    But the big problems are still off-field. Mills' comments illustrate this fact. Hesson's tactic of saying "judge me by 2015" is classic executive/managerial bs, off-setting current losses with a promised windfall later. It's rubbing off on the players, with predictable results. Every step forward (Test win in SL, ODI series win in SA, Anderson's emergence) is matched with a much bigger step back (TaylorGate, 48 all out, a 2nd successive winless tour of Bangladesh).

  • hodgies on October 31, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    NZs team selection is unbelievable and shows no respect for Bangladesh. In yesturdays game, 5 of our top 8 batsmen had a combined tally of under 18 ODI matches! How can we compete with that amount of inexperience in foreign conditions? Rutherford hardly warrants a spot in domestic 50 over games let alone ODIs, and sadly Nathan McCullum has been an expensive bowler for the last year- when his economy rate was the only thing that could be keeping him in the side. Desperately need Guptill and Ryder back for the home summer

  • on October 31, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    good luck bd team.need to carry on

  • Fogu on October 31, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    I don't see anything wrong with his statement. He has to have a positive spin and keep things in perspective. You don't expect team members to cry after the game. I am sure each member is hurting inside and will do their best next game. BD can not lose perspective either. This is home condition. World cup pitches will be very different. As warm_coffee said, we need to learn to take singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard moving. that is our biggest weakness both in Test and ODIs.

  • jokerbala on October 31, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    good to see teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe giving the top teams a run for their money. With Ireland and Afghanistan in the mix we could be in for an interesting World Cup.

  • BanglaBandhu on October 31, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    NZ claim to be concentrating on bigger goals and are seemingly blaming that reason and the conditions in Bangladesh, for the two ODI losses they have incurred in addition to their average performances in tests. The last time they came to Bangladesh, they were completely destroyed and this caused the NZ cricket board to investigate the tour. With an attitude like this, I feel The NZ Cricket Board will need to do something similar this time.

    BD's performance also puts the ICC rankings to shame.

  • dulabhai on October 31, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    A win is a win and a loss is a loss. There is nothing in between (unless it's a draw of course). So, please don't say we didn't win because we are preparing for WC. The bottom line is BD played good cricket and won. Admit it.

  • Tokai69 on October 31, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    Hope to see disciplined batting from the Ban team in the 3rd ODI ! Nasir has to justify Mr dependable title!

  • Warm_Coffee on October 31, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    I think every team is building for World Cup to be fair. Excuses are great to see but you cannot cover it losing 6 times in a row. Still this Bangladesh team is younger and slightly less experienced than New Zealand. Anyway Bangladesh have to seriously improve on their batting in final games as batting in first 2 ODIs has been average. I want to see more 1s and 2s being scored because there were far too many dot balls in the game today. Final game is a dead rubber now :)

  • Warm_Coffee on October 31, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    I think every team is building for World Cup to be fair. Excuses are great to see but you cannot cover it losing 6 times in a row. Still this Bangladesh team is younger and slightly less experienced than New Zealand. Anyway Bangladesh have to seriously improve on their batting in final games as batting in first 2 ODIs has been average. I want to see more 1s and 2s being scored because there were far too many dot balls in the game today. Final game is a dead rubber now :)

  • Tokai69 on October 31, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    Hope to see disciplined batting from the Ban team in the 3rd ODI ! Nasir has to justify Mr dependable title!

  • dulabhai on October 31, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    A win is a win and a loss is a loss. There is nothing in between (unless it's a draw of course). So, please don't say we didn't win because we are preparing for WC. The bottom line is BD played good cricket and won. Admit it.

  • BanglaBandhu on October 31, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    NZ claim to be concentrating on bigger goals and are seemingly blaming that reason and the conditions in Bangladesh, for the two ODI losses they have incurred in addition to their average performances in tests. The last time they came to Bangladesh, they were completely destroyed and this caused the NZ cricket board to investigate the tour. With an attitude like this, I feel The NZ Cricket Board will need to do something similar this time.

    BD's performance also puts the ICC rankings to shame.

  • jokerbala on October 31, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    good to see teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe giving the top teams a run for their money. With Ireland and Afghanistan in the mix we could be in for an interesting World Cup.

  • Fogu on October 31, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    I don't see anything wrong with his statement. He has to have a positive spin and keep things in perspective. You don't expect team members to cry after the game. I am sure each member is hurting inside and will do their best next game. BD can not lose perspective either. This is home condition. World cup pitches will be very different. As warm_coffee said, we need to learn to take singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard moving. that is our biggest weakness both in Test and ODIs.

  • on October 31, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    good luck bd team.need to carry on

  • hodgies on October 31, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    NZs team selection is unbelievable and shows no respect for Bangladesh. In yesturdays game, 5 of our top 8 batsmen had a combined tally of under 18 ODI matches! How can we compete with that amount of inexperience in foreign conditions? Rutherford hardly warrants a spot in domestic 50 over games let alone ODIs, and sadly Nathan McCullum has been an expensive bowler for the last year- when his economy rate was the only thing that could be keeping him in the side. Desperately need Guptill and Ryder back for the home summer

  • SameOld on November 1, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    @choppa13: A fellow BMac fan, I am nonetheless beginning to agree with his detractors. If he's a middle-order bat that doesn't "score many hundreds" (his words, roughly), he needs to consistantly get 40-60. Occasionally getting 40-60 is not enough for a 32 yr-old batsman, in Tests or ODIs. When Guptill & Ryder return, his spot must be under pressure. The batsmen looked clueless last night, it was painful to watch. But Taylor (again) found a way to nurdle and nudge out 40-odd. This is what we need from our captain.

    But the big problems are still off-field. Mills' comments illustrate this fact. Hesson's tactic of saying "judge me by 2015" is classic executive/managerial bs, off-setting current losses with a promised windfall later. It's rubbing off on the players, with predictable results. Every step forward (Test win in SL, ODI series win in SA, Anderson's emergence) is matched with a much bigger step back (TaylorGate, 48 all out, a 2nd successive winless tour of Bangladesh).

  • kiwicricketnut on November 1, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    @ choppa13, mccullum is in a rut no doubt but he has won us enough odi's and t20's for me to not get on his back just yet, its the tests where i have a problem with mccullum, he really just doesn't command a place in the test side, not since lee germon have we played a specialest captain when we went through a similar rut in the 90's, we just arn't a good enough team to be effectively playing with ten men so in tests he has to go, the odi stuff on the other hand, he is one of the most destructive players in the world, with ryder and guptill at the top guys like taylor, anderson and mccullum in the middle and williamson the glue that holds the innings together, i think the world cup plan, despite the recent loss is looking quite promising, just need to wrap vettori up in cotton wool for the cup, in home conditions we should be a real chance to lift the cup for the first time.