Live updates: World Test Championship - Blackcaps v Bangladesh at Sylhet International Stadium, Day One

  • 28/11/2023

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Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the World Test Championship match between the Blackcaps and Bangladesh at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

After such a concentrated diet of white-ball cricket, everyone must now slow things down and make the adjustment to another cycle of the five-day format.

Winners of the inaugural crown, New Zealand are now ranked fifth in the world - behind India, Australia, England and South Africa - while Bangladesh languish in ninth. 

The Blackcaps have won 13 of the 17 previous test meetings between these two nations and their only defeat came at Mt Maunganui last year, slumping to an eight-wicket loss, before rebounding to win by an innings and 117 runs in Ross Taylor's final outing at Christchurch to share the series.

The home side will be somewhat below full strength, with injuries forcing the withdrawal of several frontliners, so their depth will be tested. Conditions should favour spin bowlers and New Zealand have selected appropriately, with plenty of slow options in their squad. 

Join us at 4pm for the toss or watch live, free-to-air coverage on ThreeNow.

TAB Odds: NZ $1.47, Bangladesh $4.45, Draw $5.35


Ravindra 'banging down the door' for test return against Bangladesh

While the Blackcaps are undecided on the playing XI for Tuesday's opening test against Bangladesh, squeezing Rachin Ravindra into the side could be the toughest task for captain Tim Southee and coach Gary Stead.  

Over the past two months, Ravindra, 24, has become a household name in New Zealand, due to his heroics at the Cricket World Cup in India.  

After playing his international career as an all-rounder at No.7, a move to the top of the order with one-day captain Kane Williamson unavailable proved to be a revelation.

In 10 games either opening or batting at No.3, Ravindra scored 578 runs at an average of more than 64, with centuries against England, Australia and Pakistan.

Ravindra has made no secret of his desire to succeed in test cricket. So far, he has played just three tests, batting at No.7, with an average of less than 15 and a high score of 18 not out. 

The World Cup showed his best performances will come batting in the top order.   

As the Blackcaps prepare to face Bangladesh in two tests over the coming weeks, Ravindra's return could be key in conditions similar to those at the World Cup.  

With spin-friendly surfaces expected, New Zealand have picked five slow bowling options for the series. Ajaz Patel and Ish Sodhi stand tall as the two specialists, while Mitchell Santner could play his first test in more than two years as a bowling all-rounder.  

Rachin Ravindra celebrates a century at the World Cup.
Rachin Ravindra celebrates a century at the World Cup. Photo credit: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Ravindra and Glenn Phillips could both also push for selection, selected as batters who can offer overs with the ball in support of the frontline bowlers. Given his displays at the World Cup, Ravindra may just have done enough to play his first test since the start of 2021.

"He's obviously had a phenomenal period of time at the World Cup," said Southee. "We've known he's an exciting talent and he's had a phenomenal run over the last few weeks.

"The test side has been reasonably settled over the last wee while. It's been a tough side to crack into, but he's doing everything he can to find a way into the test side."

Ravindra is unlikely to break into New Zealand's top order, with the trio of Tom Latham, Devon Conway and Williamson settled in test cricket.

With Daryl Mitchell and Henry Nicholls both likely to continue in the middle order, one spot is up for grabs, either at No.6 or No.7, depending on how the Blackcaps look to fill it.

Given the need for runs from the middle order, Ravindra and Phillips will likely contest that selection race, ahead of Santner. Southee welcomes that dilemma, with the former seemingly ahead given his recent form. 

"It's great to have those sort of problems, where you've got guys banging down the door," he added.

"I can't explain how amazing [Ravindra's] been over the last few weeks. It's about trying to fit him into the side.

"He offers so much as a top-order batter who's able to bowl. It's just around where we fit him in."

The Blackcaps playing XI for the first test against Bangladesh will be confirmed at the toss in Sylhet.