Kiwis eye series whitewash over Bangla

Published: Friday, January 11, 2008, 12:16 [IST]
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Kiwis aim to continue momentum against Tiger

Wellington: New Zealand said they were looking for improvements in the second Test against minnows Bangladesh starting on Saturday ahead of England's visit next month.

New Zealand won the first Test in Dunedin by nine wickets but lost the initiative on the second day when they were dismissed for 357 and let the tourists reach 148 without loss in their second innings.

"We had a day off being ruthless in Dunedin and that's not good enough if we're to compete with the big boys," coach John Bracewell said.

Captain Daniel Vettori said there was no lack of hunger following recent maulings by South Africa and Australia.

"When you've come off as tough a time as what we had in South Africa and Australia you look forward to the games you're supposed to win," Vettori told reporters.

"There's no letting off within the team. It's almost the opposite -- guys are pushing harder to get the result we need in even a better fashion than Dunedin."

"If we can put on a big score and the key players in the top six make sure they bat for a long time and score big runs then I think we'll be satisfied with that."

Several New Zealand players are looking to burnish their individual credentials ahead of the three-Test series against England.

Former skipper Stephen Fleming, who scored 14 in his only innings in the first Test, is desperate for some big scores before his likely retirement after New Zealand's return trip to England this year.

"Every Test innings from here on in is massively important," said the 34-year-old, who will be playing his 108th Test for his country.

The main selection issue for New Zealand is whether to stick with Iain O'Brien as third seam bowler, who is on his home ground, or give Michael Mason an opportunity.

"We might get a day of big wind.... someone has to bowl into it and Iain's probably done that a lot over his Wellington career," Vettori said.

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said his team was looking forward to playing on what looked like a flat batting track.

"We'd love to have a bat on it. It's certainly not the threatened green seamer we expected to get all tour," Siddons said.

New Zealand will honour Edmund Hillary by wearing black armbands and observing a minute's silence at Basin Reserve. The first man to conquer Mount Everest died on Friday aged 88.


New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (capt), Craig Cumming, Matthew Bell, Peter Fulton, Stephen Fleming, Mathew Sinclair, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum (wk), Kyle Mills, Michael Mason, Iain O'Brien, Chris Martin and Jeetan Patel.

Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Habibul Bashar, Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiq Rahim (wk), Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza, Rajin Saleh, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Enamul Haque and Sajidul Islam.


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