Rain provides food for thought
After the first day of the second Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand was washed out without the toss taking place, there is high chance of rain for the second day of the Test at the Basin Reserve today.
As the forecast indicated, there was heavy rain since early morning in Wellington yesterday which did not subside for a long while. After a few rounds of inspection, the umpires finally called off the day's play at 3.10pm local time. The second day's play will begin half an hour early, at 10.30am.
Players from both sides opted to stay behind at the hotel but a few members of the team management were present at the field, including Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes, who inspected the ground a few times.
However, the delay may help the Tigers, who are dealing with a few injury concerns -- mainly Tamim Iqbal's, who has been suffering from groin pain.
As overcast conditions and rain are still forecast, the Bangladesh team management -- who were likely to include left-arm spinner Taijul Islam in place of Mehedi Hasan Miraz -- may well change their game plan.
With the seam-friendly conditions and green pitch in mind, Bangladesh could well play with four seamers. That means Mustafizur Rahman could return to the side and lead the fast bowling department alongside Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed and Khaled Ahmed.
Following a disappointing performance from the pacers in the first Test in Hamilton, where the trio conceded 369 runs from 87 overs for just one wicket, the team management will surely be looking for a better show in Wellington.
The same goes for the batting department. It will be important for the Tigers to do well with the willow in the first innings, which has remained the biggest area of concern in the longest format of the game over the years.
During their last tour of New Zealand in 2017, it was a pretty similar scenario in Wellington as rain delayed the game before Bangladesh went on to post 595 runs in the first innings. Shakib Al Hasan scored 217 and Mushfiqur Rahim struck 159. However, despite posting a huge first innings total, Bangladesh went on to lose the game.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are expected to play with the same team that registered a comprehensive innings-and-52-run win over the visitors and once again the likes of Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, and Tim Southee are expected to test the Tigers' batsmen with the short ball.