Unchanged Kiwis confident for Bangladesh challenge

Tom Latham

LONDON,  (Reuters) – New Zealand will stick to an unchanged line-up as they seek to build momentum in their second match of the World Cup against a fired-up Bangladesh at The Oval today.

Vice-captain Tom Latham told reporters yesterday that the Black Caps expected to be put under pressure by opponents who upset South Africa in their opener at the same South London ground.

Shakib Al Hasan

“We’re going in with the same side. I think the way we played in the last game bodes a lot of confidence for the group,” he said.

“I think the way the bowlers went about things, they challenged Sri Lanka pretty much from ball one and I’m sure the same side are looking to repeat that tomorrow.”

New Zealand bundled Sri Lanka out for 136 in Cardiff on Saturday before crushing their opponents by 10 wickets in less than 17 overs.

Fast bowlers Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson took three wickets each in the seamer-friendly conditions while batsmen Martin Guptill and Colin Munro took care of the chase.

Henry and Munro seized their opportunities after injuries to seamer Tim Southee and batsman Henry Nicholls.

Latham, whose media call was delayed due to road closures resulting from U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit, sidestepped a question about whether the recovering pair had been considered.

“They’re a day by day thing. They are certainly getting better as each day goes by, which is great,” he said.

“It’s a long tournament so it’s important to make sure the guys are 100% fully fit by the time they get back on the park. Hopefully, there will be a chance for the next game.”

New Zealand enlisted the services of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel in the nets on Monday as they prepared to face the deliveries of Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.

“It’s always valuable when you have a like-for-like bowling to you in the nets,” Latham said.

“We know what sort of bowler Shakib is…he wasn’t in New Zealand in our last home summer series so I think it’s important that we get used to a left-arm spinner.

“We’re certainly looking forward to the challenge of facing him tomorrow.”

The match will be the first between the sides since Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand was cut short in March after a gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 at two mosques in Christchurch.

“It will be great to see them tomorrow,” Latham said. “I’m sure both sides are looking forward to getting out there on the cricket field around what we love doing.”  

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