The two-match Test series between New Zealand and Bangladesh will get underway on New Year’s Day at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. This will be the final Test series for Ross Taylor, New Zealand’s leading run-getter across formats.
After suffering a 1-0 defeat in India earlier this month, current Test champions New Zealand will be boosted with the returns of Neil Wagner and Trent Boult to win their first match in the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle. Devon Conway, who broke his finger while punching his bat during the Men’s T20 World Cup, will make his return as well.
In Kane Williamson’s absence, Tom Latham will lead New Zealand, and will open batting with Will Young. Conway, Taylor and Henry Nicholls are likely to be their three, four, and five, while Tom Blundell will don the big gloves. Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Wagner and Boult are expected to be New Zealand’s fast bowlers’ quartet, and one of Rachin Ravindra or Daryl Mitchell will complete the line-up.
Bangladesh will be without Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, two of the most experienced players in the current set-up. The onus will be on Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan Miraz to stage a fight. They have lost all their Test matches in New Zealand so far, and never managed to even salvage a draw.
There is no rain predicted over the next five days at the Bay Oval. The pitch is likely to ease as the match progresses. New Zealand, arguably a much better side than Bangladesh in all three departments, should win this contest by a fair margin to begin the home summer.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Will Young, Devon Conway, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (c), Liton Das (wk), Shadman Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed, Shorfiul Islam, Abu Jayed.
Betway Fantasy Tips
- Include all four New Zealand fast bowlers. Make Wagner and Boult captain and vice-captain respectively.
- Among wicket-keepers, pick Liton and overlook Blundell.
- From Bangladesh, add Mushfiqur, Mehidy, Mominul and Taskin.
Tom Latham, Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Devon Conway, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner (vc), Trent Boult (c), Taskin Ahmed.