‘We’re in better shape this time around’ | The Daily Star
12:17 AM, June 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:46 AM, June 09, 2019

‘We’re in better shape this time around’

Bangladesh will take on New Zealand in a day-nighter at The Oval later today in a bid to continue what has been an excellent start to their World Cup campaign. A dominant performance against the more-fancied South Africa in the Tigers’ opening match at the same venue on Sunday will have set the tone for the team in their attempt to take down another side that will be more fancied to come up trumps against the seventh-ranked team in the world.

“Yeah, I think first of all, whilst we were very happy with the victory over South Africa, we all recognised that that's just one game, and we've got another eight to go,” Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes told reporters in the pre-match press conference. “It was one we could tick off with a victory, but we didn't want to get too carried away, and we know the people back home are delighted and obviously jumping up and down with what we've done in beating South Africa.”


There is a bit of symmetry to playing New Zealand, and if one were to read the proverbial tea leaves, Bangladesh beating South Africa was a good omen as far as patterns are concerned. The Tigers were handily beaten on a bleak tour of South Africa in October 2017. However, the Tigers had earlier beaten South Africa in an ODI series at home in 2015, which lent Sunday’s match on neutral venue the air of a grudge match. New Zealand’s history with Bangladesh is much the same -- the Kiwis have been whitewashed in Bangladesh in their last two away series, in 2010 and 2013, and returned the favour when the Tigers went to visit in 2017 and earlier this year.

“But the team and the staff, they know that the task is going to be tough against some of these teams, and New Zealand are just one of those sides that gave us a decent hiding this winter, and we're hopeful that we are in better shape,” Rhodes said.  “The answer is, we are in better shape, taking them on this time around.”

Bangladesh’s English coach said that the Tigers can draw from their stirring win over the Kiwis in 2017, when they put behind a 3-0 defeat in New Zealand earlier that year to beat their tormentors on neutral territory in a Champions Trophy match in Cardiff.

“Yeah, I think it's good memories and it’s good for your confidence. A lot of them will be repeating that day,” Rhodes said. “Thankfully we've got quite a few players who were involved in that day, so they will share those memories with the other guys.”



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