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After the crushing defeat in the opening T20 International, Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah had urged the team's youngsters to step up for a team that's missing the services of veterans Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim (shoulder injury). The visitors lost all three One-Day Internationals and were blown away in the opening T20I and are in desperate need of a win to salvage some pride.
Mahmudullah, however, would want to have a look at the performances of the experienced pros with two games remaining in the tour. Soumya Sarkar (0, 32, 1, 5), Liton Das (19, 0, 21, 4) and Mahmudullah (27, 16, 76*, 11) himself have struggled to guide the team out of troubled waters. And while Mohammad Naim and Afif Hossain were impressive in the opening T20I, the side needs their established players to step up and challenge a relatively inexperienced New Zealand side.
Bangladesh's bowling too has struggled so far but the failure of their batsmen have made matters worse. They managed scores of just 131, 271 and 154 in ODIs and were kept to 144 in the first T20I. Needless to say, the resurrection will have to come from their batsmen.
Meanwhile, New Zealand have turned things around beautifully after seven consecutive T20I losses at one stage in 2020. They were ruthless against West Indies and Pakistan and came on top over Australia. With IPL incoming, they are comfortable giving some downtime to their first-choice players. They now find themselves with more opportunities to experiment and allow players a chance to show their skills ahead of the T20 World Cup.
What: New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 2nd T20I, 7pm local time, 1130am IST.
Where: McLean Park, Napier
What to expect: There's rain forecast on match day. The batsmen can expect an easy outing and the onus will be on the Bangladesh batsmen to somehow match their New Zealand counterparts.
Tim Southee took a blow to the finger but is likely to be fit for the second game. Adam Milne too could feature in the squad.
Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Will Young, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee (c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Hamish Bennett/Adam Milne
Mushfiqur Rahim's shoulder injury should keep him out of the second T20I as well. The team management wants the batsman to recover in time for the tour of Sri Lanka.
Probable XI: Liton Das (wk), Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
What they said:
"T20 games are quite uncertain, as you can be bowled out on a 100-120 score on a particular day, but you have to show that will to win" - Mahmudullah.
Bangladesh Squad: Mohammad Naim, Liton Das(w), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah(c), Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan, Hasan Mahmud
New Zealand Squad: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Will Young, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee(c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Hamish Bennett, Adam Milne, Todd Astle