Vettori ready to lead bowling attack
Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, has said he is ready for the challenge of leading the bowling attack on the spin-friendly Chittagong track when his side takes on Bangladesh in the first Test starting Friday.
On New Zealand's 2004-05 tour of Bangladesh, Vettori picked up 20 wickets in two Tests, including 12 at Chittagong's MA Aziz Stadium. However, this tour's first Test will be played at the Divisional Stadium, which took over hosting duties from 2006.
"That was a different ground, but we know spinners would bowl more overs in such conditions, so Jeetan [Patel] and I will be ready," Vettori said. New Zealand have had a chance to get familiar with the pitch at the Divisional Stadium when they clinched the one-day series 2-1 with a 79-run win in third match.
Vettori was disappointed to lose the first ODI but said there had been "gradual improvement" since then. "It will be our first Test in a long time so it is an exciting challenge and we are geared up for that." New Zealand last played a Test four months ago in England.
Allrounder Jacob Oram said the defeat was not entirely unexpected. "We always knew Bangladesh have been good in their conditions but we did not panic," Oram said.
If New Zealand had won the ODI series 3-0 they would have displaced South Africa as No. 2 in the ICC ODI team rankings. "It would have been nice but we are not going to lose sleep on not being No. 2," said Oram, whose performance in the ODIs launched him to No. 1 in the allrounder rankings.