It is as if the trend of asking for prayers has started in Bangladesh cricket. Before the World Cup match against South Africa, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan jokingly said, ‘Pray to win the toss.’ Did South Africa blow away the opposition in every match batting first in the World Cup till then!
Nazmul Hossain asked for prayers today. Shantara will play the third and final match of the ODI series against New Zealand in Napier tomorrow at 4 am Bangladesh time. Earlier in the press conference when the question was asked about avoiding whitewash, the Bangladesh captain asked for prayers.
The claim is also met. New Zealand coach Gary Steed was saying, here in the first ten overs there is movement of the ball from both sides, then if you play carefully, batting becomes easier later.
It was prayed for, Dawai was also received, then the question remains – will Bangladesh not be able to win even one ODI in the 6 series since 2007, will it be able to overcome the regret of 16 years tomorrow?
The answer to that question may depend on how much Bangladesh can play according to Steed. The New Zealand coach has given a glimpse of how to play in New Zealand, ‘The first 10 overs in New Zealand conditions are difficult for any team. Bangladesh are not the only team who came here and struggled in the first 10 overs. Movement is slightly higher due to the two new balls. You’ve got to keep your temper to get the start time down here.’
Steed also predicts more pace and bounce tomorrow at Napier. Having said that, he later said, ‘When the sun rises, it might be a little easier to bat. The wicket seems a bit stiff. If you survive here, you have to bat for a long time and make a good pair.’
Can Bangladesh do it? In 16 years, it has gone to play bilateral series six times, in which 17 losses in 17 matches. Apart from this, Kapal has also lost in three matches of the 2023 World Cup Super League, and also lost in the match against New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup.