Bangladesh cricket captain Shanto has full belief in bowlers ahead of test series with New Zealand
Bangladesh won only one match in the last two World Test Championship cycles combined but captain Najmul Hossain Shanto is confident his bowlers can spark an upturn in fortunes when they take on New Zealand at the start of a two-match series on Tuesday.I believe in the bowling attack we have.
Bangladesh won only one match in the last two World Test Championship cycles combined but captain Najmul Hossain Shanto is confident his bowlers can spark an upturn in fortunes when they take on New Zealand at the start of a two-match series on Tuesday.
"I believe in the bowling attack we have. We are a team to win test matches on home soil,'' said Shanto, who replaces Shakib Al Hasan with the skipper ruled out by a finger injury. ''We just have to keep trust in our ability and make it a habit.
"The new test cycle is very important for us. This year we'll play two matches and then 12 matches next year so we have to focus on winning the matches we'll play on home soil. As a team, it's our first goal.'' Bangladesh finished last in the last two cycles and its only victory came against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui last year when pace bowler Ebadot Hossain claimed 6-46.
It was Bangladesh's only win over the Black Caps in 17 meetings.
The home team will also on Tuesday be without Tamim Iqbal, who is skipping the series, and Liton Das, who is on paternity leave.
Hossain is sidelined with a knee injury and his new bowling partner Taskin Ahmed is missing due to a shoulder problem.
Shanto, who captained Bangladesh in two matches at the recent World Cup, will be leading the side for the first time in a test.
He will be at the helm of an inexperienced side but sees it as a chance for the young players to establish themselves in the team.
"The series is an opportunity for them to make their case stronger,'' Shanto said. ''I believe the batters who are in the team are capable of playing long innings. They should take this series as a challenge." Bangladesh won only two matches at the World Cup. "We were not up to the mark," said Shanto. ''This is a different format but with the plan we have, if we can execute it properly we can beat New Zealand." Sylhet has only previously hosted one test, in 2018, Bangladesh losing that match against Zimbabwe by 151 runs.
Both teams will be loaded with spinners and New Zealand captain Tim Southee is predicting that the slow bowlers will decide the outcome.
"We took a little look at the wicket,'' Southee said. ''Of course spin will play a part. Spin historically plays a big role in this part of the world. Our spinners have done some great things in tests. We are looking forward to them showcasing their skills." New Zealand won the first edition of the WTC but finished sixth last time round.
"The start of the new cycle is exciting,'' Southee said. "It is a tough place to play tests. Bangladesh is strong in these conditions."
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