Cricket: Consistency crucial for Blackcaps to avoid historic test series defeat to Bangladesh

  • 06/12/2023

Blackcaps captain Tim Southee says his bowlers need to find more consistency to help the side avoid an historic series defeat against Bangladesh.

On Wednesday, the teams square off in Mirpur for day one of the second test, where the Blackcaps need victory to avoid a first ever series defeat against Bangladesh.

"We're expecting obviously spin-friendly conditions, but we spoke about it after the last game about being more consistent for longer as a bowling group," Southee said.  

The only top-tier teams Bangladesh have ever beaten in a two-match test series are Zimbabwe and West Indies.

"And then, obviously, partnerships as a batting unit. We've had a great couple of days of training. So, we're looking forward to getting into another test match."

Tim Southee appeals for a wicket during the first test.
Tim Southee appeals for a wicket during the first test. Photo credit: Getty Images

While the hosts' spin attack – led by Taijul Islam's 10-wicket bag – had plenty of success in their one-sided 150-run win in the first test in Sylhet, the NZ attack struggled to make inroads.

While Bangladesh’s spinners claimed 18 wickets at an economic rate of 2.48, New Zealand's spinners took 14 wickets at a rate of 3.73 runs.

With Rachin Ravindra and Mitchell Santner waiting in the wings, the Blackcaps have options available to try a different formula.

Drums have been beating loudly for Ravindra's inclusion after his breakthrough World Cup campaign, where Santner was one of the Blackcaps' most consistent bowlers.

"They're (Ravindra and Santner) obviously capable spinners. But we went with what we thought was the best side to win that first test match," Southee said.

"It's just a tough one to try and get your 15 great players to fit into an 11. So, it's about picking a side that you think is going to do the job for the five days ahead of you."

Southee adds the onus will also be on the NZ batting unit to take the lessons learned from Sylhet and apply them to what should be similar conditions in Dhaka.

Centurion Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell were the only NZ batters to have much success in the first test.

"It was a pretty good surface, and what we sort of expected in this part of the world," he noted.  

"Some of the guys that haven't played in this part of the world would've learned from that, and all the guys have got different methods and different ways to go about it. It's just about trusting that those ways are enough.  

"We saw, obviously, Kane, his brilliance, in the way that he goes about it compared to the likes of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips who go about it slightly differently.

"It's just about trusting your way and doing it for longer."

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