|(Cricket) Bottom-dwellers Bangladesh opt for spin
Test cricket bottom dwellers Bangladesh have loaded up with spinners to try and beat New Zealand in the opening match of a two-test cricket series at home on a refurbished pitch at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Because the pitch is expected to be low and slow, Bangladesh have accommodated three specialist spinners and a part-timer in its 14-man squad for the first test tomorrow, AP reports.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim is confident spinners will find some extra advantage from the untested pitch, as the last game played here was in December 2011, AP reports.
It means the prospects are brighter for Shakib Al Hasan, Sohag Gazi and Abdur Razzak, who has been recalled after two years out, while part-time spinner Mahmudullah could also play a leading role.
“We want to ensure a good team combination, but we will definitely put emphasis on spinners,'' Rahim said. “I think spinners will make some difference.''
Bangladesh languish at 10th, the bottom of the test rankings, one below Zimbabwe. New Zealand stand at 8th.
Bangladesh slipped to the bottom after losing 8 of its 11 matches, with just one win in the past three years.
New Zealand suffered 10 defeats in their past 16 tests, and its lone win in the period came against Sri Lanka in Colombo in November 2012.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said it was important for them to start the series well.
Mentioning their 4-0 loss to Bangladesh in a 2010 one-day series, he said, “We still know the danger that the Bangladesh team poses, and we have got to make sure we start this series well and make sure that we have a successful campaign.
“Obviously, the last time it was a pretty tough tour for us. It was not as good as it should have been. We were caught on the hop by a very good Bangladesh team in their own conditions. We are trying to mitigate that through our preparation.''
McCullum said the pitch looks dry and they could play their second spinner, meaning legspinner Ish Sodhi could make his test debut.