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January 11, 2008
Not satisfied with a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh last week, New Zealand aim to crush the visitors in the second Test starting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Saturday.
"There's no letting off within the team. It's almost the opposite," captain Daniel Vettori told the New Zealand Press Association. "The guys are pushing harder to get the result we need in an even better fashion than at Dunedin. If we can put on a big score and the key players in the top six make sure they bat for a long time and score big runs then I think we'll be satisfied with that."
Stephen Fleming, Vettori's predecessor, felt the side was very eager to do well after their recent defeats in South Africa and Australia. "It's a lot easier to turn up when you're expected to win," Fleming said. "We're enjoying being the dominant side but I guess we've got one eye looking towards the rest of the summer without slipping up against Bangladesh."
Fleming, 34, scored 14 in his only innings in Dunedin and is desperate for some big scores before his likely retirement after New Zealand's return trip to England this year. "Every Test innings from here on is massively important," he said. Fleming will be playing his 108th Test but in 16 games at this venue - which he ranks as his favourite, and at which he has scored more runs than anywhere else - his best is 97.
John Bracewell, New Zealand's coach, wanted the team to go all-out against Bangladesh, who have had a poor tour. "We're pretty realistic as to where we're at when we do our review," he said. "I thought we were quite comprehensive in the one-day series in terms of ruthlessness. We had a day off being ruthless in Dunedin and that's not good enough if we're to compete with the big boys."
A win will give New Zealand two more points in the ICC rankings, to move within one point of Pakistan.
New Zealand's top order will be out to make amends for an indifferent performance in the first Test, as middle-order Mathew Sinclair indicated. "I know from a batting perspective I have a lot to prove after I didn't push on in Dunedin," he said. "There's a lot of talk about the top order going out and doing the bizzo, we're aware of that and we want to make the most of it."
Both teams have delayed naming their teams because of selection dilemmas. New Zealand are without Mark Gillespie, ruled out with a shoulder injury, and are confronted with the issue of whether to retain Iain O'Brien as the third seamer or opt for Michael Mason. Vettori hinted that they would probably go with O'Brien, on his home ground. "We might get a day of big wind.... someone has to bowl into it and Iain's probably done that a lot over his Wellington career," he said.
The pitch is likely to count against spinner Jeetan Patel bowling in tandem with Vettori, who at first glance said it looked a little more dead than usual. It's a flat surface, which, Bangladesh's coach Jamie Siddons said, his team was looking forward to playing on. "We'd love to have a bat on it. It's certainly not the threatened green seamer we expected to get all tour," Siddons said.
Siddons is expected to change his batting lineup after a miserable showing in Dunedin. Habibul Bashar was out to injudicious shots and Aftab Ahmed bagged a pair, so Rajin Saleh and allrounder Farhad Reza could replace them. The two openers, Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique, are unlikely to be touched; they added a record opening stand in the second innings before the ten wickets fell for just 93 runs. Enamul Haque jnr, the slow left-arm spinner called up for the two-Test series, failed to impress in Dunedin and may make way for Abdur Razzak.
New Zealand (likely): 1 Craig Cumming, 2 Matthew Bell, 3 Peter Fulton, 4 Stephen Fleming, 5 Mathew Sinclair, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Brendon McCullum (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Iain O'Brien, 11 Chris Martin.
Bangladesh (from): Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqir Rahim (wk), Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza, Rajin Saleh, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Enamul Haque, Sajidul Islam.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala