New Zealand will up against Bangladesh in the first T20I tomorrow, September 1 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. Kiwis defeated Bangladesh when they hosted the Tigers last year but tides have turned and New Zealand will be going as underdogs in the series. With 'A' players missing, New Zealand will have to punch above their weight to return victorious. Also, Bangladesh’s confidence will be skyrocketing after a magnificent win over Australia. Tom Latham, the skipper for this tour, admitted things won’t be easy for New Zealand.
“As a leader, you are always looking to grow and improve. This format presents another opportunity. I have had captaincy experience in the past. This is a slightly younger group. There’s a bit of experience here, so I will try to lean on those guys as much as possible. I will be behind the stumps as well.”
The southpaw, however, said the team is confident of delivering good results in the series, adding that it’s a great opportunity for the fringe players to step up to the challenge. New Zealand have prepared hard for the series and set up training camps in spin-friendly conditions in Mount Maunganui and Lincoln before arriving in Dhaka. They have also had five outdoor training sessions.
“Most of the guys have experience at this level before,” Latham said. “Couple of guys haven’t been in the squad before, it is exciting for them to get in the group and try to keep things as relaxed as possible.
“We had really good training over the past five days. We will finish off our final preparations today. We have been well looked after in Bangladesh. There has been a good vibe around the group.
“The guys are looking forward to getting stuck in cricket. We have had two camps, so from a preparation point of view, it has been a long time. Everyone is pretty excited to get going tomorrow,” he said.