Another stiff Test for Tigers | Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 08, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:49 AM, March 08, 2019

Another stiff Test for Tigers

All the talk about needing to adapt to hostile New Zealand conditions should take a back seat for the visiting Bangladesh team when they take on the hosts in the second and potentially series-saving Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from today.

Following the disappointing first Test in Hamilton, where Bangladesh batsmen -- apart from Tamim Iqbal -- put in a woefully below-par performance in the first innings. There was however some succour in the second innings with centuries from skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and Soumya Sarkar that helped Bangladesh end the Test on a positive note despite the innings-and-52-run defeat.

It will be important for the visitors now to ensure a collective approach, rather than individual heroics, with both bat and ball if they really want to put up a fight against an upbeat New Zealand side.

Compared to the pitch and weather in Hamilton, it will certainly be more challenging in Wellington as there is rain forecast for the first two days of the Test match. The Wellington surface also looked greenish and is expected to offer initial seam movement, which will certainly help the bowlers while at the same time testing the batters.

The Bangladesh batsmen should once again be prepared for a barrage of bouncers from the Kiwi seamers, which undid the visitors in the first Test.

There is both good and bad news for the visitors as the Tigers are set to miss out on the services of experienced campaigner Mushfiqur Rahim for the second consecutive Test after the wicketkeeper-batsman was unable to recover from his wrist and finger injury.

Tamim has also suffered a groin injury before the start of the Test but is expected to play today, while left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman will almost certainly make a comeback, which would add some strength to the relatively inexperienced bowling attack.

Pacer Khaled Ahmed is likely to make way for Mustafizur while Ebadot Hossain and Jayed need to come up with a better game plan. After conceding 246 runs for two wickets in Hamilton -- the most expensive bowling figures by a Bangladesh bowler -- it was learned that off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz may be replaced by left-arm spinner Taijul Islam.

 

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