New Zealand will face Bangladesh tomorrow (June 5) at The Oval in London and Shakib Al Hasan's presence in the lineup is an important factor to consider for the Kiwis.
A few members of the Kiwi side who will step onto the pitch at The Oval on Wednesday to play Bangladesh in a group stage match of the World Cup will certainly remember the famous Cardiff victory that Bangladesh pulled off in the ICC Champions Trophy back in 2017. The Tigers stunned New Zealand with two vital tons from Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib Al Hasan and Kiwi star Ross Taylor admitted that Shakib will be a big threat on Wednesday.
New Zealand beat Bangladesh comfortably at home in February, but for Taylor, this World Cup side is different to the one that the Kiwis faced at home. He is right ofcourse. Shakib had missed out on that series due to a finger injury and the all-rounder is already showing his mettle in the World Cup with a brilliant innings against South Africa in the opening fixture.
"We know how they can play and Shakib does add a lot more to the balance of their side as well," Taylor told Newshub.
Taylor pointed to the host nation's loss to Pakistan - a team they beat 4-0 in a recent home series - as further proof that previous results mean nothing, when it comes to tournament time.
"It just shows you it doesn’t mean anything, and you have to be on your game and playing near your best to beat any side.
"If you're only playing 70 or 80 percent, any team can tip you up and I don’t think any team in this competition is good enough to win in that situation."
In previous World Cups, New Zealand were always known as the dark horses, and Taylor felt that the Tigers have become dark horses too.
"I think Bangladesh, in their own right, are very good and must be one of the dark horses for this tournament,” he concluded.