The five-match T20I series between New Zealand and Bangladesh is set to get underway tomorrow, September 1 at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Dhaka. New Zealand have sent a fairly inexperienced unit, with a number of senior players either rested or granted NOC for the second leg of the Indian Premier League.
The team will be led by Tom Latham, who has not played a T20I since 2017. More so, Bangladesh will be high on confidence after a crushing win over Australia in their previous series. Latham, who will also don the keeping gloves, feels that things won’t be easy for New Zealand.
“Obviously, I haven’t played for a long time,” Latham said. “The way the world is at the moment, what NZC is doing for player welfare, it has presented an opportunity for a lot of the guys, including myself. We know things won’t be easy over here looking at the Australia series.
“As a leader, you are always looking to grow and improve. This format presents another opportunity. I have had captaincy experience in the past. This is a slightly younger group. There’s a bit of experience here, so I will try to lean on those guys as much as possible. I will be behind the stumps as well.”
Despite the lack of experience in the team, Latham said that the group is optimistic about their chances in the series, adding that it’s an opportunity for the fringe players to step up to the occasion. To prepare themselves for the rank turners in Bangladesh, New Zealand practised at the spin-friendly conditions in Mount Maunganui and Lincoln. They also had five outdoor sessions before the series opener.
“Most of the guys have experience at this level before,” Latham said. “Couple of guys haven’t been in the squad before, it is exciting for them to get in the group and try to keep things as relaxed as possible.
“We had really good training over the past five days. We will finish off our final preparations today. We have been well looked after in Bangladesh. There has been a good vibe around the group.
“The guys are looking forward to getting stuck in cricket. We have had two camps, so from a preparation point of view, it has been a long time. Everyone is pretty excited to get going tomorrow,” he said.