NZ weather a challenge for Tigers

Bangladesh ODI and T20I captain Mashrafe Mortaza. File Photo: STAR

Bangladesh are giving themselves every chance of making a decent fist of their tour to New Zealand starting on Boxing Day.

They haven't toured New Zealand since 2010 and although they gave New Zealand a fright in their World Cup clash in Hamilton early last year, they are yet to win a match in this country, reports Otago Daily Times.

Bangladesh are now a far better, more combative side than in their formative years. They are a tough prospect in their home conditions as their win over England in October by 108 runs testifies.

Away from the heat of Dhaka and Chittagong, however, it will be a challenge.

"We have been successful, now it's a different challenge to play outside home," captain Mashrafe Mortaza said. "It's a challenge even for established teams to do well in New Zealand. The New Zealand weather is different from other areas."

The averages of their leading batsmen are rising. Opener Tamim Iqbal is at 40.34 after 44 Tests, with eight centuries; No 3 Mominul Haque, who scored two tons against New Zealand on their last trip in 2013, averages 51; quality allrounder Shakib al Hasan averages 39.05 and has 159 wickets from his 44 Tests; and 19-year-old offspin prodigy Mehedi Hasan is sure to be watched with interest.

In just two Tests he has taken 19 wickets at 15.63, spinning England to defeat with 12 for 159 at Dhaka in October.

For New Zealand it will be a chance to put the grim memories of Australia out of their minds. The competition won't compare in intensity but will be a chance to get back to winning ways.

The ODI squad is unlikely to be named until just before Christmas.

Bangladesh in NZ

Dec 26: First ODI, Christchurch

Dec 29: Second ODI, Nelson

Dec 31: Third ODI, Nelson

Jan 3: First T20, Napier

Jan 6: Second T20, Mt Maunganui

Jan 8: Third T20, Mt Maunganui

Jan 12-16: First Test, Wellington

Jan 20-24: Second Test, Christchurch