New Zealand are coming off a very poor tour of Bangladesh, and to add to their woes their best 3 batsmen Williamson, Taylor and Baz would not be available for this tour for different reasons. This is going to be a young New Zealand side under the leadership of Mills, facing off against the young Srilanka side with the exception of Jayawardene, Sanga, Malinga and Kulasekara.
Both teams would want to start off on a winning note, but Sri Lanka definitely has the upper hand here. The conditions and crowd would be supportive for the home team and this would be their best chance to clean sweep New Zealand. On the other hand, this is a good opportunity for New Zealand’s young guns to prove that they are ready for the international stage.
By playing 2 spinners, and having the additional aid needed in Dilshan they could easily trap New Zealand in their spin web. Chandimal and Thirimanne need to take added batting responsibilities and ease the pressure off Jaya and Sanga’s shoulders. Srilanka need to work on producing a good finisher in Matthews or Thirimanne. They do have Thisara Perera, but Perera would find it tough to break into the playing 11 because his bowling is too weak and the team is already pretty much balanced.
New Zealand seem to have a very weak middle order but their bowlers and all-rounders look as solid as ever. They are obviously missing a quality spinner, but they must work with what they have. Colin Munro’s form is the best part, and he is one who can play at a healthy strike rate too which makes it easier for the guys coming in next to score freely. Apart from him, there is not much to talk about in the batting unit but anyone can turn it on on their day and the captain would be hoping that does happen.
Srilanka: Dilshan, Kusal Perera/ Dimuth Karuratne, Kumar Sangakkara(wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Matthews (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis
Under the hood: Angelo Matthews, the Sri Lanka captain himself is under fire for being one of the best young all-rounders in the game who has failed to light up the international stage. He has played quite a lot of matches to be known around the world now, but still people are unsure whether he is a batting all-rounder or a bowling all-rounder? On top of that, he is also considered one of the best finishers in limited overs, and if we add that to the burden of captaincy it is too much on a plate for 1 man alone! He needs to delegate responsibilities by giving added batting duties to Thirimanne and trying Dilshan as a spinner to ease the burden off himself.
New Zealand: Anton Devcich, Tom Latham, Neil Broom, Grant Elliot, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wk), Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Kyle Mills (c), Nathan Mccullum, Tim Southee
Under the hood: It is hard for many to believe that Nathan Mccullum is the lead spinner of New Zealand, but well he is. He does not turn the ball a lot, nor does he possess a threat to the batsman, but he maintains his line and length and bowls at the stumps. He would be under immense pressure especially ater performing badly in the ODI series against Bangladesh, and a couple of bad performances here could cost him his place in the side too. He would be expected to dry up the runs and pick wickets, but it’s to be seen if he can do either of the two.
Expected Result: Srilanka Win
Bangladesh seem to be on top of their game, after beating New Zealand in the 3 match ODI series, but there is still 1 match to be played. Both teams do not want to take this one lightly, Bangladesh because they want to get up there in the rankings, and New Zealand because they want to gain more exposure to playing in Asian conditions.
There have been a lot of positives for both sides, the emergency of Neesham, Anderson for New Zealand, whereas it is the form of Tamim, Mortaza and Gazi that has brought a smile on the Bangladeshi supporters. This match is a dead rubber, and both teams might experiment with 1 or 2 players, but still they will go all guns blazing to win.
For Bangladesh, Tamim has reported pain and may be rested for the dead rubber. On the other hand, Mortaza’s burden should be managed smartly and as a result Al-Amin could debut, but the team management also said that they may need the experience of Mortaza. The top order looks a bit fragile, with neither Anamul, nor Mominul being in the best of forms, but their solid middle order more than makes up for it. Nasir hasn’t been among the runs, and being bangladesh’s best batsman, he should step up and perform.
With 2 of their best batsmen injured in Mccullum and Williamson, there is nothing to lose for the Kiwis but they must up their game. Rutherford and Taylor are very promising cricketers, but their performances show the kind of form they are in, very bad. Neesham and Anderson’s emergence as all-rounder’s is great for the team, who can now afford to play 5 bowlers or 6, as they wish. However, the lack of a good spinner is definitely hurting them, and Nathan Mccullum is the only one to be blamed here. Their second and younger opener Devcich is not cashing in after getting a start, and his domestic record doesn’t suggest he is a good player either, but New Zealand for some reason are showing faith in him, which might prove to be costly.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal/Shamshur Rahman/Anamul Haque(any 2), Mominul Haque, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim(c)(wk), Mahmudullah, Masrafe Mortaza/Al-Amin, Sohag Gazi, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain
Under the hood: Mominul Haque has had a superb test series recently, but hasn’t quite contributed in this ODI series yet. With Shakib slated to make a comeback sooner than later, he is the only weak link in this batting unit currently and may have to make way if he doesn’t score heavily. He is a proven customer, just needs to spend some time in the middle and bat long. He comes in at #3, which is a good position to bat at, but consistency in this format of the game is a must.
New Zealand: Hamish Ruterford, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliot, Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi (wk), James Neesham, Corey Anderson, Tom Latham, Nathan Mccullum, Kyle Mills(c), Tim Southee
Under the hood: Nathan Mccullum is New Zealand’s best spinner? That is a question that many want an answer to. He neither turns the ball a big way, nor is he really consistent, but he does manage to get breakthroughs and sometimes contains the runs too. However, the team management will certainly look into other spinners in domestic competitions as Mccullum seems to have been quite ineffective here and if he cannot get the Bangladeshi batsmen ut, what would he do against better batting line ups.
Expected Result: Bangladesh Win
Not many would be following this series, but for the cricket crazy nation, Bangladesh this is a very important series. The last time New Zealand had visited here they lost 0-4, and Mccullum hopes to better his team’s performance this time around. It is going to be a tough series for New Zealand especially in the heat and humidity, but it is to be seen which team can come up on top.
Bangladesh have dominated the test series, although both tests ended up in draws. The home team certainly has the advantage of playing in home conditions and in front of a large crowd, which will help them immensely. They want to prove a point to the world and this could be a stepping stone on their path.
Bangladesh seem to have a very strong team, however the only concern is the health of Shakib. He was sick a day ago and rushed to the hospital. In case he cannot make it to the ground, it will be a huge blow for the team and will shift the balance in favor of New Zealand a little. Tamim and Nasir seem to be in good batting form, and they are the ones who have to bat through the innings to make sure Bangladesh can win this game. They also have lethal spin weapons in Gazi and Razzak, both of who can be wicket takers and run containers.
New Zealand are without their regular opener Guptill and that may hurt them a little. That being said, it is the perfect opportunity for young Devicich to make a mark and show that he is good enough for the international stage. Their middle order is as solid as ever in Taylor, Williamson and Baz. They also have some class all-rounders and pacers but one area that will hurt them dearly is the lack of quality spinners. They do have Nathan Mccullum but he is not a quality spinner who can turn the ball. The likes of Vettori could have been much handier, but well this is what they have for now.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Shakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim(c)(wk), Mahmudullah, Masrafe Mortaza, Sohag Gazi, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain
X-Factor: Nasir Hossain, one of the best lower order players in the game would be the guy to watch out for. He has been Bangladesh’s best batsman for a long time now, and there are talks of him moving to fill the no.3 or no.4 spot but it’s all upto him to do so. He is one of the Bangladesh stars and a huge contributor to their success. Along with being a great batsman, he is a good fielder and a decent bowler too. If you want to win a fantasy game, do not forget to add Nasir to your line-up :)
New Zealand: Hamish Ruterford, Anton Devcich, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon Mccullum (c)(wk), James Neesham, Corey Anderson, Nathan Mccullum, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan
X-Factor: Mitchell McClenaghan has played 10 ODI games till date and in those he has picked 29 wickets, which is a tremendous record. If he can continue to do what he did in his previous ODI’s, New Zealand would be well served by him. It is to be seen whether he can make the ball talk on these life less Bangladeshi pitches. He is a very good young bowler and New Zealand have to make sure to use him smartly and effectively.
Expected Result: Bangladesh Win
After all the frantic t20 cricket, we are back to white shirt red cherry, the pinnacle of cricket, Test Cricket. This 2 match test series is very important for both sides, Bangladesh because they do not want to lose on home soil and New Zealand because they want to prove that they can win against Bangladesh in Bangladesh after they had previously lost to them in the ODI’s.
It would need a really quick transition from playing for Otago to playing for the national side for Mccullum, Wagner and Rutherford, but well they are professionals. This would be a very challenging tour for New Zealand as they will have to bear with the tough conditions and make sure they prove why are they still a dangerous unit. Shakib al Hasan, one of the finest all rounders in the game is back for Bangladesh and that would give the team a huge boost, which could also be seen as the match begins.
Bangladesh, the home team have a good team as they bat deep till no.8 and they also have 5 good bowlers, with Shakib and Gazi being their ace spinners. Much will depend on 4 of their best batsmen, Tamim, Shakib, Nasir and Rahim and if one of those guys can stick in and play a big innings they have a very good chance of winning. Mahmudullah is the floater in the team, can bat a bit and can bowl a bit but is always uncertain of his place in the team even though he has dishes out quite a lot of match winning performances recently.
New Zeland have a good mix of youth and experience I ntheir line up, but this series would be the perfect test for their temperament. Apart from Williamson and Brownlie most of the batsmen lack that skill and this series may prove to be a big test for the batsmen. The bowlers must also step up their game and make sure they get wickets at regular intervals, else the home team may prove too strong for New Zealand.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Shakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Marshall Ayub, Mushfiqur Rahim(c)(wk), Mahmudullah, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Robiul Islam
X-Factor: For a 21 year old, Nasir Hossain has an awesome average in all 3 formats of the game and apart from Shakib he is one of the best players Bangladesh have produced in a long time. His wicket is worth gold and he never lets the team down. Nasir is consistent with his batting particularly in the test format and if he can stick in a big hundred is his for the taking. New Zealand will have huge problems is this man is in good form, and if he is then Bangladesh have a very good chance of pulling the rabbit out of the hat and winning this test.
New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Dean Brownlie, Brendon Mccullum (c), BJ Watling (wk), Trent Boult, Bruce Martin, Neil Wagner, Doug Bracewell
X-Factor: Kane Williamson, the assumed to be next big thing for New Zealand cricket would be in the center of all action particularly because he is one of those guys who can bat for long hours and can also turn his arm over if needed. Williamson would have the task of holding the innings together as he bats at no.3 and also he is the man with the best temperament in the team. New Zealand would be hoping he can step up his game and if that happens New Zealand has a good chance in this test.
Expected Result: Bangladesh Win