First Test preview: Bangladesh v New Zealand

Bangladesh

Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was aggrieved by Bangladesh's lowly position in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings recently – and a solid performance this month, indeed, could set the record straight.

Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was aggrieved by Bangladesh's lowly position in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings recently – and a solid performance this month, indeed, could set the record straight.

Stationed below Zimbabwe's re-entry into the 13-team table, a full 34 points inferior, their is certainly ground to be made and daunting <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>5/1 cricket betting odds</b></a> to challenge – in conditions and circumstances bound to suit the home side.

Bangladesh outgunned the Black Caps in the limited-overs leg of 2010's tour entirely, but flattered to deceive in the one-off Test. If ever there was a time to convert short-format form to success in the five-day fold, this is it.

New Zealand's preparation has been far from ideal, with a two-day fixture against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI rendered a complete washout by rain. While Trent Boult was the collective voice of concern then, Trent Boult has since acknowledged the lack of time in the middle will cause concern come Wednesday and beyond.

The hosts' spinners – Shakib Al Hasan and Sohag Gazi – as always, will be the Black Caps' main area of concern. Having endured characteristic collapses against stronger slow bowlers, opportunity knocks for some correction against Gazi and Al Hasan.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have insisted on bulk changes to their batting order. Mohammad Ashraful is, again, nowhere to be seen – with a handful of recalls making for a largely unknown order.

Anamul Haque, however, has all but been confirmed as Tamim Iqbal's opening partner – with Mominul Haque likely to step to the crease at first-drop. The position of Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim amid a slew of reasonably experienced batsmen, too, remains key.

The Kiwis, in an ongoing quest to find an eventual full-term replacement for Daniel Vettori, will relish the opportunity to play two spinners. Cue the Indian-born Ish Sodhi's selection alongside Bruce Martin. Brendon McCullum, indeed, will be spot on in allowing Sodhi plenty of protection in the field during the leg-spinner's attacking spells.

<b>Key Men</b><br><b>Tamim Iqbal</b>'s role at the top of the knock will be pivotal, particularly if Bangladesh win the toss and bat first. These are foreign conditions for Boult and company, who might crack quickly if Iqbal really gets going.

Back from injury, Kruger van Wyk out the way and McCullum not keen to take the gloves, <b>BJ Watling's</b> post behind and in front of the stumps will prove telling. The South African-born Watling has the opportunity to prove, once and for all, he is the nation's best Test wicketkeeper-batsman – and sports <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket/cricket-test-matches/Bangladesh-V-New-Zealand-5882425.html' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>odds of 11/1 of being New Zealand's top run-scorer</b></a> in Chittagong.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><br>2010: One-off Test: New Zealand won by 121 runs in Hamilton<br>2008: Second Test: Match drawn in Dhaka<br>2008: First Test: New Zealand won by three wickets in Chittagong<br>2008: Second Test: New Zealand won by an innings and 137 runs in Wellington<br>2008: First Test: New Zealand won by nine wickets in Dunedin

<b>Probable Teams</b><br><i>Bangladesh:</i> Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Naeem Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Nasir Hossain, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Rubel Hossain, Robiul Islam, Sohag Gazi.

<i>New Zealand:</i> Hamish Rutherford, Peter Fulton, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Dean Brownlie, Brendon McCullum (captain), BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Doug Bracewell, Bruce Martin, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.

<b>Dates:</b> 9 to 13 October<br><b>Morning session:</b> 09:30-11:30 (03:30-05:30 GMT)<br><b>Afternoon session:</b> 12:10-14:10 (06:10-08:10 GMT)<br><b>Evening session:</b> 14:30-16:30 (08:30-10:30 GMT)<br><b>On-field umpires:</b> Bruce Oxenford and Ravi Sundaram<br><b>Third umpire:</b> Local appointment<br><b>Match referee:</b> Javagal Srinath

Latest