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Bangladesh ODIs a good build-up for the World Cup: Lockie Ferguson

Last updated on 20 Sep 2023 | 12:39 PM
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Bangladesh ODIs a good build-up for the World Cup: Lockie Ferguson

This will be the last series for both sides ahead of the World Cup, which will be played in India, starting October 5

New Zealand and Bangladesh will rest their captains and several other key players in their three-match One-Day International (ODI) series starting Thursday (September 21) before the World Cup.

Instead of Kane Williamson,Β Lockie Ferguson will lead the Kiwis, who included only five members of their World Cup squad for the series at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Tim Southee - who is to have a thumb operation - and Tom Latham are the highest-profile other Kiwi absentees.

But pacer Trent Boult, all-rounder Rachin Ravindra, spinner Ish Sodhi, and batsman Will Young are included. "This is a big series for us and a very challenging one," Ferguson, who is on his maiden tour of Bangladesh, said Wednesday (September 20).

"From our point of view, it's a good build-up for a World Cup," he added.Β 

"We know how strong Bangladesh are on their home conditions, so it's a good challenge for us."

The Kiwis will be looking to win their first ODI series in Bangladesh in 15 years, having lost all seven matches to the hosts in the previous two series, respectively, in 2010 and 2013.

Bangladesh spinners also tested New Zealand in a 3-2 win in a five-match series in 2021, but Ferguson said they were ready to face the challenge. "But our batters have been preparing," he said. "They're used to spinning tracks, having played around the world."

Everyone has a chance

Bangladesh have yet to name their World Cup squad but rested regular captain Shakib Al Hasan along with all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz, batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, and pace trio Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam.

Stand-in Bangladesh captain Litton Das said the series would be a great opportunity for his teammates to stake a claim to the World Cup squad.

"The players who will play have been out of international cricket for a long time," he said.Β 

"Everyone has a chance."

Bangladesh have recalled senior campaigner Mahmudullah Riyad for the series, with the right-hander last playing an ODI in March against England. Veteran opening batsman Tamim Iqbal also returned after his retirement U-turn and injury layoff that forced him to miss the recent Asia Cup.

Bangladesh failed to reach the Asia Cup final but defeated ultimate winners India in their last match to finish the tournament on a high. The second and third ODIs will be held at the same ground on September 23 and 26.

The series will be the last for both teams before the World Cup starts in India on October 5.

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