Kiwis to train today
The New Zealand team arrived in Bangladesh yesterday to play a three-match ODI series, slated to begin on September 21, and the visitors will have their first practice session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh's first practice session for the series will be held on Monday. The Tigers returned from the Asia Cup on Saturday.
Bangladesh will be without skipper Shakib Al Hasan, with Liton Das set to lead the side in the series against the Kiwis.
With the ODI series being played just days before the World Cup, beginning on October 5 in India, it should provide the team management an opportunity to assess the side and finalise the team combinations before the mega event. Stand-in skipper Liton himself would love to get some runs under his belt before the World Cup.
Eyes will be on the two veteran returnees to the side -- former ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad. Both stalwarts will be back in the fold after a long gap.
Tamim was expected to feature from the beginning of the New Zealand series after recovering from a back injury while Riyad, who last played in the home series against England in March, will have a final opportunity to make his case for the lower-middle-order after Afif Hossain and Shamim Hossain failed to flourish in the role during the Asia Cup.
New Zealand, led by right-arm quick Lockie Ferguson, do not have the batters who will be featuring in the upcoming World Cup but their pace attack also includes an experienced Trent Boult.
With the Tigers hoping to sort out their combinations, especially in terms of finding backup openers and a suitable lower middle-order batter, the duo of Boult and Ferguson should provide enough challenges ahead of the World Cup.