Cricket: Blackcaps look to Bangladesh for blueprint for success in second test

  • 05/12/2023

Blackcaps spinner Ish Sodhi admits his team need to learn some quick lessons ahead of the second test against Bangladesh, many of which can be learned from their opposition.

New Zealand fell to a 150-run defeat in the opening test in Sylhet, as their batting attack crumbled under the metronomic pressure of Bangladesh's spin attack, which was led by Taijul Islam's 10-wicket assault.

Sodhi concedes their counterparts proved what they needed to apply themselves to try and salvage a drawn series with a win in Mirpur.

"The way that Bangladesh played, they certainly outplayed us," said Sodhi.

"But upon reflection, I think they gave us a blueprint on what's successful in these conditions, and hopefully we can apply that to this next test match.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first Bangladesh made 310 and 338, with New Zealand bowled out for just 181 on the last day as they chased a target of 332.

Bangladesh bowlers celebrate another victim.
Bangladesh bowlers celebrate another victim. Photo credit: Getty Images

Captain Tim Southee noted his fellow bowlers had failed to hit the right areas consistently enough to cause the Bangladeshi batters issues, which Sodhi said was in part due to their lack of recent red-ball play.

The match was their first in whites since hosting Sri Lanka back in March.

"It is about just working in partnerships and being a little bit more accurate," Sodhi said.

"That's something hopefully we can come together as a bowling group over the next couple of days - discuss as a spin bowling group, seam bowling group, whatever that looks like, and try to make improvements.  

"It's always going to be challenging, not playing a lot of test cricket over a long period of time, but when you come together, [it is about] how quickly you can adapt.

"Sometimes you wish you could have adapted sooner in the last game, but we can't sort of look back now. We've got to try to find all the learnings that we had in that last game and apply them to this one, and hopefully we can come out on the winning side."

Given the wealth of experience and the team's track record, Sodhi insists he's confident the playing group will rally and find a way to make the second test, which starts on Wednesday, much more of a contest.

"The great success this [New Zealand] team's had over the past decade has been being able to park these sort of things pretty quickly, whether it's success or loss," Sodhi said.

 "That's going to be tested though. It is never anything to take for granted. It is always hard to come back off the back of a loss. But with the experienced heads here, we've been there, we've done that. We know how to apply ourselves into the next games.  

"Hopefully, that's something that we can commit to really well and apply to this next game."

Sodhi, who captured three wickets for 145 runs in Sylhet, will be returning to the scene of his best all-round individual one-day international performance in Mirpur.

In the second ODI win against Bangladesh in September, Sodhi took 6/39 and scored in 35 off 39 balls to earn player of the match.

He hopes that experience will set him in good stead for what's to come this week.

"Going into conditions where you have had a bit of success, you always have a bit more confidence going into games like that," he said.  

"It'll just be about exposing the conditions as best as we can, figuring out whether it's going to turn, or if it's not, what that looks like for us in terms of attacking and defence."

Watch live, free-to-air coverage of the first test between the Blackcaps and Bangladesh on ThreeNow or follow live updates on Newshub from 4pm, Wednesday