Friday, January 6, 2017
Start time 1500 local (0200 GMT)
New Zealand will have to adjust well to a slow pitch at the Bay Oval for the second T20 in their bid to seal the series. Bangladesh, lurching from one defeat to the next on this tour so far, can look forward to a better batting and bowling day on a surface that could remind them of home.
The home side was forced to make a last-minute change in their squad when they brought in George Worker to replace Neil Broom, who was ruled out through a fractured finger which he sustained during the Napier T20. Broom is expected to be out of action for at least a week.
According to NZC, Ross Taylor was "not considered as a possible replacement due to a minor side-strain issue". Worker will open with captain Kane Williamson, who anchored their 142-run chase in the first T20 with an unbeaten 73. Colin de Grandhomme also batted well while Lockie Ferguson starred with the ball with his two early wickets and the late yorker to Mahmudullah, Bangladesh's best batsman in Napier.
But the likes of Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes have to give Bangladesh a better start. They also need Sabbir Rahman to convert his after getting set. Soumya Sarkar will be under heavy scrutiny, having made 1 and 0 so far on tour. Bangladesh's bowling also have to get their act together, especially Rubel Hossain who is likely to be given another go despite being expensive in the last game.
The visitors have their backs to the wall so bouncing back with a win to level the T20 series would be a timely remedy for a tour that is going wrong.
(completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand WLWWW
In the spotlight
Mahmudullah finally got into runs on the tour in the first T20 with a half-century that was as attractive as it was necessary for him and the team. He can now be expected to score more runs, especially in the last five overs.
Lockie Ferguson made a mostly impressive T20 debut in the first game, taking 3 for 32 including wickets off his first two deliveries. But he was also erratic when looking to bowl too many variations. It will be interesting to see how he bowls with fewer nerves.
George Worker has been called up and is a like-for-like replacement for the injured Neil Broom. New Zealand could bring back Trent Boult from rest to ensure they have enough in their bowling attack to ensure a series win. Ish Sodhi may also be included in the XI due to the slow nature of the Bay Oval pitch.
New Zealand (probable) 1 Kane Williamson (capt), 2 George Worker, 3 Colin Munro, 4 Corey Anderson, 5 Tom Bruce, 6 Luke Ronchi (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Ben Wheeler/Ish Sodhi, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Matt Henry/Trent Boult
Bangladesh might similarly be tempted to pick left-arm spinner Taijul Islam or offspinner Shuvagata Hom. Taskin Ahmed could be picked too if they want to rest Mustafizur Rahman or drop Rubel Hossain.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Soumya Sarkar, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Nurul Hasan (wk) 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Pitch and conditions
In the three Super Smash T20s played at the Bay Oval last month, teams batting first (averaging 142 runs) lost on all three occasions. Traditionally, the pitch here is slow and keeps low. The weather forecast is of a bright sunny day in Mount Maunganui.
Stats and trivia
- Kane Williamson became the fourth New Zealand batsman to cross 1,000 runs in T20 internationals after Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor.
- Tuesday's six-wicket loss in Napier was Bangladesh's fifth consecutive defeat in T20s, equalling their second-longest losing streak (the first one was during the 2014 World T20). Their longest losing streak is 12 T20s in a row from September 2007 to May 2010.
"If we can correct the small mistakes we made in the previous matches then we have a good chance to win the match. I think that we are improving as a team but it's always a tough challenge away from home."
Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84