Tigers mindful of mind games
12:00 AM, March 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:04 AM, March 10, 2019

Tigers mindful of mind games

It was a similar situation for Bangladesh 18 years ago during their maiden tour of New Zealand in 2001 when the first two days of the first Test in Hamilton were washed out without a ball being bowled.

An inexperienced Bangladesh went on to lose that Test in the remaining three days by an innings and 52 runs, a margin of defeat similar to the Tigers' loss in Hamilton in the first Test this time around.

The Basin Reserve pitch looked greenish and, like most of the other New Zealand tracks, kept the visitors guessing and added to their mental stress when they first had a look at the surface.

Former New Zealand all-rounder and current batting coach Craig McMillan -- who scored a hundred against the Tigers during their win in Hamilton back in 2001 -- seemed to be playing mind games when he said he had not seen such a green pitch in Wellington for years.

"Generally when you play in Wellington, two days out the pitch is very green but that complexion changes. This pitch is as green as I've seen it for a number of years, and two days under covers in the rain means it's going to be softer and a bit spicier than what we've seen in previous years. It's going to be a real challenge for both sides but that brings an air of excitement," McMillan told reporters yesterday.

"We're not overly concerned by the fact that it's only three days. Results are still possible so we have to make sure when we turn up, we are switched on and ready to go; whenever that might happen."

However, Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes is aware of the fact and his message to the ones playing in New Zealand for the first time is that the pitch always looks like it will do a lot more than it actually does.

"We are well-aware how it was before. Luckily we have some people who played here before and they tell me it's [the pitch] pretty similar. Tamim told me it was very similar last time. The message we are trying to pass on to those who are here for the first time is that the pitch will always look like it will do a lot more than it actually does. [It's about] trying to be positive about scoring runs on this pitch and obviously taking catches and picking up wickets," said Rhodes.

According to the forecast, there is chance of rain today as well. It will be interesting to see whether the Tigers are able to overcome the mental battle which the home side has already started to play on when the game finally begins.

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