We're not easy prey for New Zealand: Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladesh's captain, believes his young side can give New Zealand a run for their money in a three one-day international contest later this month. Bangladesh also play two Tests in New Zealand but its in the limited-overs format that their captain feels they can win, provided they get runs on the board.
"Our bowling attack is reasonably good. If we can post a good total, it will not be impossible to win one or two games in the one-day series," Ashraful told the Daily Star before the team's departure. "We are not too concerned about the Test matches right at this moment. First of all we will try to put a good show in the one-day series."
Bangladesh, who have only played two Tests previously in New Zealand, are scheduled to begin their tour with a warm-up match against Northern Districts starting on December 19. The first one-dayer is on December 26 in Auckland, followed by fixtures Napier (December 28) and Queenstown (Dec 31).
"If we can do well in the one-day internationals, the spirit in the Tests will be high automatically," said Ashraful. "No doubt it is going to be a tough tour ... but we have confidence in ourselves. We are not going to be easy prey for New Zealand."
Mashrafe Mortaza has been named Ashraful's deputy; the tenures of both the captain and vice-captain have been extended until December 2008. "As a bowler I might get some advantage from this kind of condition but overall it's a very tough tour for us" said Mortaza, Bangladesh's pace spearhead.
Jamie Siddons, Bangladesh's coach, kept it simple. "I have already talked a lot about this tour. Nothing could have been better then if we can win some matches. But my main desire is to see my boys playing as per their potential."