1 Sep 2021

Black Caps up against it in Bangladesh

11:40 am on 1 September 2021

New Zealand will start their T20 series against Bangladesh as underdogs, with the visitors having none of their regular shortest-form players in their squad.

The five-match series starts in Dhaka tonight.

Blair Tickner bowling in the nets in Bangladesh 2021.

Blair Tickner Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand decided to send a completely different team on their tour of Bangladesh to the one that will play in the T20 World Cup later this year.

Bangladesh will be full of confidence, not only because they're playing in their own conditions, but they'll be buoyed by their 4-1 series victory over Australia last month.

The New Zealand squad features three debutantes, all-rounders Cole McConchie and Rachin Ravindra and pace bowler Ben Sears.

The Black Caps in Bangladesh, who will then head to Pakistan, are being led by Tom Latham.

Latham has only played 13 T20 internationals and the last of those was in 2017.

"Obviously I haven't played (T20) for a long time, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in, things aren't going to be easy over here, but that provides a great opportunity for all of us involved."

Latham's last T20 game was for Canterbury in 2019 when he scored a century against Central Districts.

"From a leadership point of view you're always looking to grow and I think this format presents another opportunity for that and I have had captaincy experience in the past in County cricket so I'll look back on those experiences.

"While this is a young group there is a bit of experience there and I'll lean on those guys especially with me being behind the stumps as well."

While Latham's players aren't involved in next month's World Cup, they have their own reasons to succeed.

"We're playing for our country, I personally haven't had a lot of opportunity in T20 cricket so for me it's exciting.

"A lot of the squad probably haven't played as much international T20 cricket as they would have liked so that presents awesome opportunities.

Tom Latham in action during the Black Caps training.

Tom Latham Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"I think for us it's about enjoying ourselves and trying to stick to a brand of cricket we believe can be successful in these conditions and our goal is to win the series."

Latham says Bangladesh has a lot of threats.

"We saw how well they played against Australia, they've got a lot of great spinners and they've got some fearless batters."

The wickets should be slow, the highest score in the recent Australian series was 131.

"We're working on the surface being challenging and if it's any better then great.

"We've had some good training days acclimatising to the conditions and also getting use to the surfaces so for us it's just about adapting and sticking to our plans."

New Zealand has swept Bangladesh in their last two T20 series in New Zealand and have never lost a game to them.

However New Zealand has struggled in Bangladesh in the past, losing their last two ODI series there.

Fixtures (all NZ time and all games in Dhaka):

  • Wednesday, 1 September, 10pm: First T20
  • Friday, 3 September, 10pm: Second T20
  • Sunday, 5 September, 10pm: Third T20
  • Wednesday, 8 September, 10pm: Fourth T20
  • Friday, 10 September, 10pm: Fifth T20

Black Caps squad for Bangladesh T20s & Pakistan ODIs:

  • Tom Latham (c) (wk)
  • Finn Allen
  • Hamish Bennett
  • Tom Blundell (wk)
  • Doug Bracewell
  • Colin de Grandhomme
  • Jacob Duffy
  • Matt Henry
  • Scott Kuggeleijn
  • Cole McConchie
  • Henry Nicholls
  • Ajaz Patel
  • Rachin Ravindra
  • Ben Sears (T20 only)
  • Blair Tickner
  • Will Young

Coaching Staff: Glenn Pocknall, Graeme Aldridge, Thilan Samaraweera