Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper
NZ tour will give us an indication of where we are in world cricket: Rhodes
After a break of more than a month from international cricket, Bangladesh head to New Zealand to play three ODIs and three Tests. Although they are yet to register a victory across formats against New Zealand in New Zealand, Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes is confident that they can make amends for their skewed record this time around.
Rhodes - along with team manager Khaled Mashud and eight cricketers - was among the first batch from the Bangladesh set-up to take the flight to New Zealand on Wednesday. Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nayeem Hasan and Liton Das were the players who were on the New Zealand-bound flight while the rest are expected to join the team following the conclusion of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the departure, Rhodes said the team will take confidence from their 2018 record in ODIs, where they won 13 out of 20 matches. "We are very happy with the performances of the players recently. We are expecting to do well in the ODI format because that's something we pride ourselves on and so we will be doing our very best in the ODIs.
"As far as Test matches are concerned, very difficult," added Rhodes, who still expressed hope of his team challenging the hosts. "Again we are little bit better equipped now for playing away from home. Hopefully we can produce some result in the Test matches."
With most of the teams busy in their preparations for the World Cup, Rhodes believes that the series in New Zealand will provide Bangladesh a good opportunity in terms of assessing the squad.
"It [the tour of New Zealand] will give us an indication of where we are in world cricket, whether we are on target to the World Cup. You know Ireland and the West Indies (a tri-nation in May) will be closer to the tournament and so that will be the last finishing touches for the World Cup.
"I hope we win some games. I will be great for us to win some games of cricket there but it is not easy as it was proved during the last time," said Rhodes, reflecting on the clean sweep by New Zealand across formats in 2016-17 when Bangladesh last visited the country. "We are very happy with the players and we hope to achieve our goals in the upcoming tour."