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However, the captain urged his side not to feel complacent and put up their natural performance.

New Zealand is such a team, which is well organised and disciplined even if they are without their star players, he said.

From the first ball we should show the mindset of playing good cricket, which was the case in our Australia series. We should make sure that we are hungry enough to win the game
Mahmudullah, Bangladesh captain

“I think New Zealand are very good team. They are such a team, which do their homework terrifically and they are extremely disciplined. They always try to stick to their plan and try to be bold enough to execute the plan well. I think we have to be very disciplined against them,” Mahmudullah said on Tuesday during a virtual press conference.

At the same time, the captain emphasised playing good cricket rather than thinking them as favourites.

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“I always say that the T20 format is such that you cannot think of yourself as a favourite. Becoming overconfident becomes negative for you. We need to assess the condition well and put up our natural game. If we can ensure those things, if we can think positively, we will have a good chance,”

“We played well in the Zimbabwe series, we played well in the Australia series. We should keep up the winning spree and we should think as such. Then it will help us to bring positive results,” Mahmudullah added.

Bangladesh is focused on playing good cricket from the first ball of the match to meet the expectations. The captain also said to make the most of the opportunities in the match.

“From the first ball we should show the mindset of playing good cricket, which was the case in our Australia series. We should make sure that we are hungry enough to win the game. In home condition we always try to bring the result in our favour. And there will be same expectation again. It is important to value every opportunity -- as individuals and as a team. We must seize every opportunity to meet expectations. Thinking like that will make things easier for us,” he remarked.

We are preparing for wickets that Australia faced about a month ago. We had some really good camps in New Zealand. We have to play on a surface that will be a lot more challenging than what we expect
Tom Latham, New Zealand skipper

Bangladesh has never beaten New Zealand in T20 cricket as they lost all 10 matches the two sides played against each other. This time, however, Mahmudullah is confident to snap the losing streak.

Afif fit to play first match

Youngster Afif Hossain, who suffered an elbow injury is all but sure to play the first game of the series.

He was rested for the last day of practice that raised a possibility of his omission from the series opener. However, captain Mahmudullah Riyad, quelled the doubts, saying that Afif is fit to play.

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“Afif is fine now, he will play in tomorrow’s match,” Mahmudullah said.

The batting all-rounder was not in preparation for the final day on Tuesday. The team management has kept him under observation, giving him rest. He sustained the injury when a rising delivery of fast bowler Taskin Ahmed hit his elbow during a net session on Monday.

The medical department of the BCB immediately informed that the injury was not serious. He however didn’t need any scan or MRI in the injured place.

New Zealand upbeat to negate Mustafizur, spinners

Despite knowing that dealing with fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and the spinners would be extremely tougher in the condition, which is extremely slow and low, New Zealand kept trust on their batsmen in the series.

Mustafizur and the spinners led by Shakib Al Hasan ripped through the Australian batting line up in the last series to help Bangladesh win it by 4-1.

Adorably called as the Fizz, Mustafizur has indeed made Bangladesh almost invincible at the home condition, which is generally favourable for the spinners. But Mustazifur utilised his slower and cutter deliveries to make the best use of the condition.

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New Zealand skipper Tom Latham said it is not easy to pick a particular one as the most challenging bowler in this condition.

“They all present their challenges. Mustafiz at the top of the innings is renowned for his slower balls. We saw how he bowled against Australia,” Latham said during a virtual press conference Tuesday.

“The spinners at the top and through the middle, will present the challenges. Guys have been working really hard for the last five days to come up with plans best to negate them. We are looking forward to facing them tomorrow,” he added.

Not the bowlers only, Latham continued Bangladesh batsmen also knew how to use the condition well.

“They have threats all around their group. We saw how well they played against Australia. They have some great spinners and experience in the group. Our batting will be challenged by their spinners. They have some fearless batsmen, who take the game head on,” he said.

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But that doesn’t mean New Zealand would give up their hopes. Latham said they prepared them based on the series between Bangladesh and Australia and they are confident that they could make a difference here.

“We are preparing for wickets that Australia faced about a month ago. We had some really good camps in New Zealand. We have to play on a surface that will be a lot more challenging than what we expect. We have acclimatised to the conditions here in the last five days. We have five games here, so wickets will be used two or three times. We have to adapt to each surface in each game. We have to wait and see what we get,” he added.

“We have to try to adapt, stick to your plans and blueprint, to see what you can do for the team. We have to put the best foot forward in whichever situation I myself or the guys face. We know it is going to be a challenge, and how good those guys are in these conditions. They have a wealth of experience. We have to play the best we can. The guys are up for it.”

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