Trip into the unknown for New Zealand
New Zealand will go into the third ODI against Bangladesh without ever playing or even training at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium. Ross Taylor said this will be the first time in his international career that his first visit to the ground is on the day of the match.
The visitors had earlier scheduled all their training at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Even when the Twenty20 fixture was set for the Sylhet Stadium on November 6, before the ground was ruled not to be ready, New Zealand's plan was to train in Mirpur before the day of the game.
As a result, they will have to rely on statistics from the current Bangladesh domestic campaign because the playing surface there was relayed before the start of the 2013-14 season. There have been 12 Dhaka Premier League matches, three of which featured former New Zealand players Jacob Oram and Scott Styris.
Taylor spoke to Oram who has played just one game there for Gazi Tank Cricketers, where he earned the Man-of-the-Match award for picking up three wickets.
"I have never been there," Taylor said. "This is the first time in international cricket where I will turn up at the ground on the day of the match. Jacob Oram played a club game there couple of weeks ago. He said its low and slow, they got 180-odd, the second team got out cheaply. We expect the bounce to deteriorate as the day goes on, but the opposite can happen too."
Taylor added that New Zealand will have to play a lot better to make it 2-1 and said it was important they could head to Sri Lanka in a better frame of mind. "Every time you're 2-0 down you have disappointment, and your confidence takes a hit. We have one more game in the series so we want to make it 2-1, which sounds better than 3-0. If we can get momentum and confidence from tomorrow and hopefully take it to Sri Lanka."
Shane Bond, the team's fast bowling coach, admitted on Friday that Bangladesh have done things better than New Zealand in all areas of the game.
"We have been outplayed," he said. "I think with the ball we have been good in patches but probably not for long enough. Bangladesh have created a couple of good partnerships and we have always felt that 230 was a good score and they went beyond that both occasions so we knew that it was going to be a tough chase."
"Bangladesh have bowled well up front so we have never been able to generate a strike rate, the run-rate slant, and then we have put struggled to put partnerships and wickets have fallen in clumps and as a result we lost the games."
Bond said that a defensive mindset can creep into a side after conceding a series but added that New Zealand are a good enough side to start playing better cricket.
"I think when you get beaten, you can sometimes be afraid of losing and forget about playing to win, like when you go into a shell and play defensively,
"We talk about learning from the last series and what we would do differently. But that doesn't change the fact that if the opposition still outplays you, you get beaten. We have got a good side. We just need to play better."
Despite the scoreline, Taylor backed the side's younger players. The opening pair of Hamish Rutherford and Anton Devcich have struggled, but there have been promising signs from the allrounders James Neesham and Corey Anderson.
"They [the openers] are young," Taylor said. "When you do lose two wickets up front, the rest of the players have to step up. We haven't been doing that. We have to give the openers a lot of confidence.
"We have been screaming out for a genuine allrounder since Jacob Oram's retirement. They [Anderson and Neesham] are both equally good bowlers and batsmen. Corey has been consistent on this tour. Jimmy will get better with both bat and ball. They will give exciting times to New Zealand cricket."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here