Bangladesh players had a good time during training on December 4, 2023, at the Sher-e-Bangladesh National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, before of their second and final Test against New Zealand. Photographer: Firoz Ahmed
Bangladesh will look to replicate the performance that helped them seal a historic 150-run win over New Zealand in Sylhet today as Najmul Hossain Shanto and his troops look to clinch their first-ever Test series win over the Kiwis with a victory at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
The game is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be shown live on T Sports and GTV.
Bangladesh’s first Test, which finished last Saturday, was a team effort, with left-arm spinner Taijul Islam leading the way with a ten-wicket haul. The Tigers overcame a full-strength New Zealand side with a collective approach that included a century from stand-in skipper Shanto as well as crucial contributions from experienced Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, and Mahmudul Hasan Joy.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh was dealt an injury scare before of the Mirpur Test. Nayeem Hasan’s availability for the game has been called into question after the off-spinner injured his right index finger during training yesterday. The Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) medical team later confirmed to The Daily Star that the spinner’s injury is not significant and that he will be ready for selection for the second Test.
Tim Southee and his team, on the other side, will be trying to rebound, with the Kiwis anxious to retain their record of never losing a Test series in Bangladesh intact. The Kiwis will also be searching for their first win in the World Test Championship third cycle, having begun with a thrashing in Sylhet.
Spin has been emphasised once again, especially given the unpredictability of the Mirpur pitch. Keeping this in mind, the visitors may bring in an additional spinner, with Mitchell Santner and Rachin Ravindra joining Ajaz Patel and Ish Sodhi.
Kane Williamson, who struck a wonderful century in Sylhet, will lead the way for the Kiwis in the batting department once again, while Bangladesh will be hoping for Taijul and Miraz to be in their element to foil any counterattacks from a powerful New Zealand line-up.