After upstaging India in the T20 International series, New Zealand team is all set to take on the Bangla Tigers for a three-match ODI Internationals followed by as many Tests. The first encounter will be played at McLean Park, Napier on Wednesday
With less than 24 hours for the first game to begin, Bangladesh’s head coach Steve Rhodes said his charges were relishing being ‘underdogs’ as they chase maiden victory on New Zealand’s soil.
The men-in-green have toured the country four times prior to this but haven’t been able to clinch a series victory yet. Steve Rhodes believes that upstaging Kiwis on their home soil will be a tough task and his side is pretty aware of that. However, he believes that his side has a lot of match-winners and it will be difficult for New Zealand to beat them.
“We know it will be very difficult, we’ve got to be realistic. But we quite like being underdogs. We can surprise a few people being an underdog and I think New Zealand know they've still got to play some very good cricket to beat us."
Unfortunately for Bangladesh, the side has already lost two pillars – Shakib Al Hasan and Taskin Ahmed due to their respective injuries. “It's been a hard grind but a great competition as well (with) lots of positives in terms of experiencing tough cricket.”
“But it's taken its toll and the preparation is not ideal. I only hope that on the day we show that we can play some cricket,” he said. Prior to this series, New Zealand lost to India 4-1 in the five-match ODI series, and Steve Rhodes believes that the bruises would still be there.
"I think they'll use those bruises to bounce back and we've got to be ready for a tough New Zealand turning up," he said.
Bangladesh is surely a better side to one toured the last time, winning their last series against Windies on its home soil, the momentum is still with the Tigers. Ahead of their first game, Rhodes believes the team has the ability to clinch the series and it’s better to not write them off. "It's a really big task but it doesn't mean we can't win," he concluded.