Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand has been underwhelming so far, and the upcoming three-match T20I series - the final assignment of their 13-day visit - will be an opportunity to make amends for their 3-0 whitewash in the ODI series.
Hosts New Zealand will start as outright favourites in the contest, given they have won all seven meetings against the Tigers in the shortest format. Additionally, the Black Caps have won three of their last five bilateral T20I series at home with the run beginning from November 27, 2020.
|New Zealand vs Bangladesh (head-to-head record in T20Is)|
|New Zealand's record in the last 5 Bilateral T20I series|
|Australia||5||3||New Zealand||February 22, 2021|
|Pakistan||3||2||New Zealand||December 18, 2020|
|West Indies||3||2||New Zealand||November 27, 2020|
|India||5||0||India||January 24, 2020|
|England||5||2||England||November 1, 2019|
Speaking of batting strengths, New Zealand will rely on the top-order pairing of Martin Guptill and Devon Conway to establish dominance against the Bangladeshi bowlers as the hosts have averaged a total score of 189 in their last five innings.
|New Zealand's first innings total in last five matches (home)|
|219/7||Australia||Dunedin||February 25, 2021|
|184/5||Australia||Christchurch||February 22, 2021|
|173/7||Pakistan||Napier||December 22, 2020|
|238/3||West Indies||Mount Maunganui||November 29, 2020|
|132/5||India||Auckland||January 26, 2020|
Bangladesh, on the flip side, have hit 13.2 fours and 4.6 sixes on an average in their last five T20I matches (home and away) and need to put up confident performances in the three-game T20I series if they are to end New Zealand's 100% record against them.
|Bangladesh's first innings total in last five matches (away)|
|136/6||Pakistan||Lahore||January 25, 2020|
|141/5||Pakistan||Lahore||January 24, 2020|
|153/6||India||Rajkot||November 7, 2019|
|184/5||West Indies||Lauderhill||August 5, 2018|
|171/5||West Indies||Lauderhill||August 4, 2018|
The absence of Shakib Al Hasan is a massive blow to the Tigers' preparations for the T20I series and skipper Mahmudullah will depend on fellow senior player Mushfiqur Rahim to orchestrate some positive performances from the visitors.
New Zealand will be led by Tim Southee, and the veteran seamer will be eager to inflict more misery on Bangladesh given his squad will be without the rested sextet of Kane Williamson, Tim Seifert, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson and James Neesham.
When it comes to the coin toss, however, Bangladesh have the upper hand having won four of their last five tosses. Given the venues for the T20I series are likely to be batsman-friendly, it will be interesting to see how the teams can make the most of the available conditions with their new-look squads.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Michael Bradley