Bangladesh will play the ODI series against the Kiwis from September 21 to 26.© AFP
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan is keen that the country’s World Cup-bound players are rested during the home series against New Zealand from September 21 which consists of three ODIs to make sure they are “fit and healthy” for the big event. He pointed out that his side cannot afford injuries with the thin bench strength it has ahead of the marquee tournament in India from October 5. Maheesh Theekshana’s spin magic and skipper Dasun Shanaka’s spell allowed Sri Lanka to comfortably claim the second-longest ODI win streak in their Asia Cup Super Four triumph against Bangladesh on Saturday. Sri Lanka won by 21 runs.
Bangladesh will play the ODI series against the Kiwis from September 21 to 26, following which they will play two warm-up matches on September 29 and October 2 against Sri Lanka and England respectively.
Shakib feels there will be a “lot of travel” during the World Cup and the series against New Zealand could help Bangladesh test its bench strength. The Bangla Tigers are yet to announce their World Cup squad.
“We will try a few things in the three ODIs against New Zealand,” Shakib said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“If we can get one or two players from there who can fit into the team [later], it will be better for the team. Everyone has a chance [to play]. I personally believe that those who played in the Asia Cup could be rested from the New Zealand series, especially those who are confirmed for the World Cup.
“We cannot afford injuries in that big tournament which involves practice matches and lots of travel. We do not have a lot of bench strength. It is very important for us that players are fit and healthy for the World Cup. I want all four of our fast bowlers to remain fit, now that Ebadot [Hossain] is out,” he added.
New Zealand has also picked up a largely second-string side. Senior players have been given a break before the World Cup.
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