New Zealand begin their ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League campaign this week when they take on Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series.
New Zealand v Bangladesh, 1st ODI
University Oval, Dunedin
20 March, 11am local time
Having locked away a berth in the World Test Championship Final, New Zealand now turn their attention to the shorter game. In fact, Saturday’s series opener will be the Kiwis' first ODI in more than a year.
They last played the format in March 2020, losing the first match of what was meant to be a three-game series against Australia. As things eventuated, it was the final international cricket match played for more than three months as the coronavirus pandemic halted sport globally.
Bangladesh started their quest for World Cup qualification by clean sweeping the West Indies 3-0 in January in their first CWC Super League series.
The 30 points they picked up in that series has them sitting second to Australia (40) and ahead of England, Afghanistan and the West Indies on net run rate.
Having won their past six home ODIs, including a 3-0 clean sweep of Bangladesh, New Zealand go into the series as favourites. However, Bangladesh have reason to be confident after winning their past six ODIs.
Hitting the ground running could be key for Bangladesh given New Zealand will be missing two of their best batsmen for the opening match.
Ross Taylor has been ruled out of the series opener with a hamstring injury while an elbow injury has sidelined Kane Williamson for the entirety of the campaign.
Of course, Bangladesh have a notable absentee of their own in star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is away on paternity leave.
Despite Williamson and Shakib's absence, the series will not be short of star quality. New Zealand's attack will be spearheaded by Trent Boult, who sits on top of the ICC ODI bowling rankings. In response, Bangladesh have the services of off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and seamer Mustafizur Rahman, sitting fourth and eighth respectively on the rankings.
Fixtures (all times local)
1st ODI: Saturday, 20 March, 11am at University Oval, Dunedin
2nd ODI: Tuesday, 23 March, 2pm at Hagley Oval, Christchurch
3rd ODI: Friday, 26 March, 11am at Basin Reserve, Wellington
Remember last time
New Zealand beat Bangladesh 3-0 last time they toured, with Martin Guptill crowned Player of the Series after averaging 132 across the three games.
The touring side were bowled out for 232 in the series opener and New Zealand chased that down with eight wickets to spare thanks to a Guptill century. Game two had a touch of deja vu as Guptill helped New Zealand mow down a target of 227.
The Black Caps completed the clean sweep in the third match, winning by 88 runs after a six-wicket haul from Tim Southee.
Look out for
Martin Guptill – The opener can become just the fourth New Zealand batter to score 7000 ODI runs this series. He goes into the campaign with his tally at 6843 and will be intent on reaching the landmark sooner rather than later.
With Taylor and Williamson both missing for the first match, Guptill looms as an even bigger wicket for Bangladesh. He goes into the series in strong white-ball form, having smashed 218 runs at an average of 43.60 against Australia in the recent T20I series.
Tamim Iqbal - The captain was in impressive form in Bangladesh’s recent 3-0 victory over the West Indies, top-scoring for the series with 158 runs at 52.66.
The leading run-scorer in the country’s history, Tamim (7360 at 36.90) will have to be at his best for Bangladesh given the absence of star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
The last time Bangladesh toured New Zealand, it was with the bat that they fell short. Tamim will be key to ensuring that does not happen again.
Tom Latham (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Will Young, Ross Taylor (withdrawn from first ODI)
Tamim Iqbal (c), Afif Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Liton Das, Mahedi Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Naim, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Rubel Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed
ICC World Cup Super League Situation
Bangladesh sit second on ICC World Cup Super League standings with 30 points thanks to their 3-0 clean sweep of the West Indies. They are 10 points behind Australia.
New Zealand are yet to play a CWC Super League match.
The Super League is a 13-team tournament featuring the 12 member nations and the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship back in 2017.
Each win in the tournament is worth 10 points. Five points are handed to each team if there is a tie, no result or the match is abandoned. No points are awarded for a loss.
The CWC Super League is a qualification tournament for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. Hosts India and the other top seven teams on the standings at the end of the CWC Super League will automatically qualify for the World Cup.