The first Test of this series defied expectations to the say the least. In fact, the result was so shocking that it commanded headlines across the world and ranked amongst the biggest upsets in modern Test cricket history. The question now is can Bangladesh back it up? As ever, we here at LWOC will be providing our preview and prediction for the second test of this New Zealand vs Bangladesh series. But who will come out on top?
New Zealand vs Bangladesh Second Test Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
New Zealand started this series without having been defeated on home turf in their last 17 matches. That stretch included a comprehensive 2-0 victory over the all-conquering Indian team and a triumph against England, a side vastly better resourced than Bangladesh. Bangladesh, meanwhile, hadn’t beaten anyone except Zimbabwe since 2018 and came into the series fresh from a humiliating defeat at home at the hands of Pakistan, in which they lost one match despite the better part of three days being washed out.
But they didn’t look like a team low on confidence. They bowled New Zealand out for 328 in the first dig, with the returning Devon Conway responsible for a considerable proportion of the runs, before posting 458 themselves against the much-vaunted Kiwi seam attack. Such have been Bangladesh’s struggles of late that New Zealand still looked to be the favourites to win the match, until Ebadot Hossain turned the match on its head in one superb spell.
He claimed three wickets without conceding a run to tear the heart out of the Black Caps’ middle-order, accounting for the well-set Will Young before sending Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers. New Zealand were unable to rally, posting Bangladesh a target of just 40 runs. The Tigers knocked that off comfortably enough with the early loss of Shadman Islam and the late departure of Najmal Hossain Shanto not causing any real problems.
New Zealand will be smarting after the defeat and were quick to dismiss any suggestions they had not taken the assignment seriously enough. There should be plenty of motivation to put things right in any case for the eleven who took to the field against Bangladesh in the first test, with no changes expected to the line-up. Tom Latham will once again open the batting, most likely with Will Young, whilst Devon Conway comes in at three in the absence of usual skipper Kane Williamson.
Ross Taylor, in what will be his final Test match, will bat at four with Henry Nicholls at five and ‘keeper Tom Blundell at six. Rachin Ravindra, who had a very ordinary match, will serve as a spin-bowling all-rounder at seven, allowing the Black Caps to start with four frontline quicks in Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult. Jamieson and Southee did look off the pace in the first match, but should be fit and firing ahead of this second Test.
It is hard to see Bangladesh making many changes either, albeit for different reasons, after their superb performance in the first Test. Shadman Islam will keep his place at the top of the order, but his partner Mahmudul Hasan Joy will miss out with a finger injury. Mohammad Naim is a possible replacement for him. Shanto and Monimul Haque will look to serve as the engine room of the line-up at three and four, whilst Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das, both in good form, will bat at five and six.
Yasir Ali will look to stiffen the lower order at number seven, before spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who excelled in the first match, comes in at eight. Bangladesh will be hoping that their three-pronged pace attack of Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Hossain can replicate the success they enjoyed in the first match, with Hossain in particular outstanding as he took 6/46 including the aforementioned wickets of Young, Nicholls and Blundell.
Bangladesh’s win will live long in the memory and, quite rightly, has been acknowledged as a boost for the format. The more competitive teams there are playing Test cricket the better and it may be hoped that Bangladesh’s efforts in New Zealand will earn them a chance to Tour in Australia and England. But as impressive as their win was, it is hard to see them backing it up in Christchurch, where New Zealand will be desperate for a reaction.
The Black Caps have a reputation for being the nicest team in international cricket, but they are also fiercely competitive and proud of their status as world champions after their victory in the World Test Championship final. They are also, ultimately, a better team in these conditions than Bangladesh. They underperformed, and badly, in the first match, but it would be a surprise if they do not put that right in this second test.
Prediction: New Zealand win.
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