In anticipation of the series-deciding Test against Bangladesh at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on December 6, New Zealand has revealed a strategic shift focusing on spin bowling. After a 150-run defeat in the first Test at Sylhet, the Kiwis are eager to bounce back and level the series in a crucial match that is part of the ICC Test Championship.
Compared to Sylhet, the Dhaka wickets are known to favour spin bowlers, prompting New Zealand to adjust their tactics. Ish Sodhi, the leg spinner, highlighted their preparations, stating, “They gave us a blueprint on what’s successful in these conditions, and hopefully, we can apply that to this next Test match.” The team’s decision to rest pacers and focus on spin in the nets reflects a well-thought-out plan to combat the challenges posed by the conditions in Dhaka.
Despite the setback in the first Test, Ish Sodhi emphasised the importance of experienced players in the squad. He mentioned, “With the experienced heads here, we’ve been there, we’ve done that, we know how to apply ourselves into the next games.” The presence of seasoned players in the team is expected to contribute to a resilient comeback in the series decider.
Anticipating a Raucous Crowd
With Bangladesh leading 1-0 in the series, the Kiwis are expecting a larger crowd in Dhaka, especially given the home side’s opportunity for a historic series win. Sodhi acknowledged the passionate cricket culture in Bangladesh, saying, “They get behind their team massively. It’s a huge sport in this country. It’s met with a lot of passion.”
Ish Sodhi expressed the team’s eagerness to finish the tour on a positive note, especially after an extended period away from home. Having spent considerable time in Bangladesh for the ongoing series, followed by the T20 World Cup in India, the Kiwis are determined to end the tour on a high note and return to the comforts of New Zealand.
As the Dhaka Test approaches, New Zealand remains optimistic about implementing their spin blueprint and clinching victory in the series decider.