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November 27, 2010
Hamilton Masakadza, Zimbabwe's opening batsman, believes his team have a better chance of success in Bangladesh than New Zealand, who were trounced 4-0 in a one-day series in October. Masakadza also suggested that the focus of the tour, which includes five one-day internationals, would be preparation for the World Cup in the subcontinent early next year.
"I think the main thing is to prepare for the World Cup as the guys will be returning to the subcontinent to play [in that tournament,] and obviously we will try for a series win," Masakadza told reporters at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka upon Zimbabwe's arrival on Friday.
"Definitely Bangladesh are difficult opposition at home but still we are looking for a very competitive series. I think it'll be a bit different series than the one against the Kiwis as we have had the experience to play in Bangladesh quite often. And I think we are better prepared than the Kiwis."
Zimbabwe visited Bangladesh twice last year, in January and November, and also hosted the Bangladeshis in a home series in August. Bangladesh won all three series by significant margins, although not without creditable performances from Zimbabwe in certain games. "We have been here a few times and we know what the conditions are and how the wickets behave," explained Masakadza. "We are also aware about the dew factor and that's why we are looking forward to the series."
Both teams will rely upon an army of slow bowlers in spin-friendly conditions. Zimbabwe have included Ray Price, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer in their touring party, and could also turn to Keith Dabengwa and Brendan Taylor's finger spin if necessary. Bangladesh have the spin of Shakib al Hasan, Abdur Razzak, Suhrawadi Shuvo and Mahmudullah in their ranks. "I don't think there is too much difference between the teams in terms of strength because both teams depends on their spin bowlers and both teams have a few guys who can strike the ball hard up in the order.
"The conditions are definitely different but it's just a matter of adjusting and we have a few days in hand to practice before we start the series proper. We are hopeful that the boys will take the opportunity to get adjusted to the conditions."
Zimbabwe's tour opens with a limited-overs warm-up match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI at the Krira Shikkha Protisthan Ground in Savar on November 29 before the first ODI at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur on December 1.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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