New Zealand bank on World Cup form ahead of Bangladesh tests

New Zealand coach Luke Ronchi said Sunday that his side’s Cricket World Cup experience in India would help end their barren run in Bangladesh, as they prepare to face the hosts for a two-test series. New Zealand have largely played on Asian soil this year, with series in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in various formats, before they played the World Cup in India in October and November.

The Kiwis put up a credible show at the tournament, losing to hosts India in the semifinal.

“It’s definitely going to help us,” Ronchi told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s match at Sylhet. I think if we’d come straight from green wickets in New Zealand to the Bangladesh wickets, it’s a big change,” he added.

“But for the majority of our group here, they have been in India. They’ve been at the World Cup.They have been practising on different surfaces, slower and turning sort of surfaces. So that hopefully helps us for this test series.”

Before travelling to India, New Zealand ended their 15-year wait to win a series in Bangladesh, beating the home side 2-0 in the three-match one-day international series. The Kiwis have not, however, won a test in Bangladesh since their three-wicket win in Chittagong in 2008.

Their next three tests, including both matches in a 2013 series, ended in a draw. The visitors, who played with just one spinner back in 2013, named a spin-heavy squad for the upcoming series.

This time, Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel join Ish Sodhi along with two spin allrounders, Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra.

Ronchi believed spinners from both camps would play a big role. The quality of spin and pace on both sides is going to be really high,” he said.

Bangladesh will miss regular captain and experienced spinner Shakib Al Hasan for the series, while pacers Taskin Ahmed and Ebadot Hossain will be out due to injury.

Veteran batsman Tamim Iqbal and opener Liton Das are also not available for the series due to injury and a family break respectively.

“It’s challenging to lose that much experience from any team, especially for Bangladesh,” said coach Chandika Hathurusingha. He said the absences did, however, offer a chance to test other players.

“I think it’s exciting, and it’s an opportunity for some of the youngsters to make their name,” he said. The second test of the series will be held in Dhaka from December 6–10.

Source: eNCA

In other news – I don’t know what healing looks like – Nadia Nakai on AKA’s death

Rapper Nadia Nakai is still trying to pick up the pieces after her boyfriend AKA’s passing earlier this year. Speaking to the media at a restaurant in Parkmore, a suburb in Johannesburg, the Naaa Meaan hitmaker said that she is still trying to heal from the pain of losing the award-winning rapper.

Nadia Nakai

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