New Zealand opener Martin Guptill was aware of the threat that Bangladesh possesses and specifically remembered the damage that the Tigers inflicted during the Champions Trophy game at Cardiff where Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad produced a miraculous comeback.
The duo had starred in a 224-run partnership – Bangladesh’s highest stand for any wicket in ODIs – as Bangladesh chased down New Zealand’s 265 with Shakib and Mahmudullah both striking tons. It remains arguably the Tigers’ most remarkable victory in ODIs.
Bangladesh did not win a single match last time they toured New Zealand but Guptill said it would be a tough series despite Bangladesh missing ace all-rounder Shakib. “Its going to be a tough series as Bangladesh are a quality side as you know they have showed us a couple of years ago when they beat us in the Champions Trophy,” he said.
He wanted his side to have the momentum from the start. “We are hoping and pretty confident that we can put up a good start and make ourselves start in the big foot,” he continued.
The Kiwi was understanding of Shakib’s injury but was hopeful that the all-rounder might be able to come in later during the Test series. “Obviously Shakib is a world class player and he plays a lot of cricket but injury happens in cricket and it’s unfortunate time for him. But he gets a break for now and potentially he will be back later in the series,” he said.
New Zealand are in a good vein of form, coming off the back of a T20 series win against India. They are a confident side and Guptill was confident of a good result. Asked about memories of that game from Cardiff where Shakib and Mahmudullah snatched victory from the jaws of defeat having lost four early wickets in chase of the big target, Guptill said: “You learn in every game and it’s the beauty of how you play. You know its a fresh game and its a different time we will be here tomorrow confident to do the job.”