The Tigers played seven Tests in 2021 and won just one against the lower ranked Zimbabwe. They even tasted defeat at home against a West Indies side, severely depleted by the absence of their core group players.
Vulnerability in the longer version format of the cricket, coupled with their miserable record in New Zealand gave Bangladesh a little hope to win this Test series.
Moreover, they will be without the service of their two key players -- Shakib Al Hasan who took rest from the series and opener Tamim Iqbal, out with finger injury. Nevertheless, still Bangladesh dared to hope for a turnaround, especially because they have nothing to loss.
It is, however, the second series of Bangladesh in the second edition of ICC World Test Champions (WTC). They have already conceded a 2-0 defeat to Pakistan in the first series at home in WTC.
Bangladesh just toured in New Zealand in March 2021 for a limited over series including three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals but lost all of those matches.
They last played Test matches in New Zealand tour in 2019, which was cut short due to a terrorist attack on a local mosque. For that incident, the final and third Test match was shelved but beforehand Bangladesh lost the first two Test matches by innings margin.
To acclimatise with New Zealand condition and cope with the Covid-19 factors, Bangladesh went there almost one month ago.
The goal was to play at least two practice matches after a mandatory quarantine period. But that plan was ruined after Bangladesh's spin coach Rangana Herath was tested Covid-19 positive that forced the whole team to maintain extended quarantine period.
Due to the extended quarantine period, Bangladesh had to be contented just one warm-up game, a two-day game against New Zealand XI.
They did fairly well with the bowlers, specially the pacers Abu Jayed and Taskin Ahmed showing their talent to make the most use of the New Zealand condition. Batters Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudul Hasan hit fifties in practice game. Liton Das also scored some runs.
Overall the drawn-practice game went as per the script of Bangladesh. Now it is to see whether they could translate their practice game performance into the Test match.
New Zealand senior batter Ross Taylor announced his retirement after the Test series against Bangladesh, a thing which made New Zealand pumped up to give Taylor a fitting farewell despite the injury-forced absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson.
Bangladesh so far played 126 Tests, winning just 15 and lost a staggering number of 94 matches, of which 44 came by an innings margin. They, however, salvaged draw in 17 matches. Against New Zealand, Bangladesh played 15 matches and lost all but three, which ended in a draw.
Squad: Mominul Haque (capt), Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Fazle Mahmud, Liton Das (wk), Nurul Hasan (wk), Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Shohidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mohammad Naim