New Zealand will start their World Twenty20 campaign against Bangladesh aiming to improve on their form and bid for a place in the Super Eights, according to ESPNcricinfo.
The team, led by Ross Taylor, consists of reasonably good players whose collective efforts help take on better or more experienced teams. Despite this, the ongoing year has not been a positive one for New Zealand. They did start the 2011-12 season with home and away wins over Zimbabwe on either side of a drawn Test series in Australia, but it has been downhill ever since, losing at home to South Africa and away to West Indies in all three formats. However, the T20 win over India in Chennai earlier this month has lend hope to the Black Caps for putting up a decent show in this tournament.
“I guess we will be looking to our seamers to have a big play in the tournament,” said Taylor. “The boundaries here in Pallekele are a lot bigger than other grounds. Spinners will play a big role as well.”
The Kiwis have also been plagued by fitness problems with Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee and Rob Nicol arriving a day later than rest of the team in Kandy as they were recuperating from gastrointestinal complaints in Colombo. Nevertheless, it is expected that the trio has recovered enough to be declared fit for selection.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, is quite confident about the upcoming match. Their performance has consistently improved over the years, as was witnessed in this year’s Asia Cup. Moreover, they possess a mental edge over New Zealand resulting from their 4-0 one-day series win over the Black Caps in 2010. Bangladesh also has the added advantage of having devoted their whole off-season to exclusively playing T20s.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.
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