New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is confident his team can overcome the loss of all-rounder Jacob Oram in the second Test against Bangladesh starting here Saturday.
Oram, 30, was ruled out of the second Test with a sore back and will be flying back to New Zealand on Saturday. He was man-of-the-series in the one-day games preceding the Tests, which the visitors won 2-1.
"Oram is probably our most important player because of the role he offers, being our third seamer and one of our best batsmen, so when he is out it makes (it) more difficult," Vettori said on Friday.
New Zealand, who lead the two-match Test series 1-0 after their three-wicket win in the first Test at Chittagong, are likely to bring in the inexperienced Grant Elliott as Oram's replacement.
The 29-year-old played his first and only Test against England at Napier this year.
"Elliott hasn't got the experience or the performance of Oram, but we still think he will come and do a pretty good job. Any time you lose a player of Jacob's calibre it's tough," said Vettori.
The New Zealand captain said he was "not too worried" about a Bangladesh side looking to avenge their defeat in the first test, saying that his team was instead looking to improve on their first Test performance.
"That's where our concentration lies," said Vettori.
The 29-year-old skipper was the hero of New Zealand's hard-fought victory, taking nine wickets in the match and scoring half-centuries in both innings.
Vettori said the pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla Mirpur Stadium will help slow bowlers, especially after the intermittent rain which forced the tourists to cancel practice sessions this week ahead of the Test.
"I think the third and fourth day wicket will be dry and quite crumbling and (will) make it difficult for batting," he said. "We presume the second day will be the best to bat on it."
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful denied his team was under extra pressure following their defeat.
"Pressure is always there, team-wise we have done well, both in one-dayers and the Test, so we must keep the good work and put up our best effort," said Ashraful, whose own batting form is a worry for the home team.
The Bangladesh skipper was booed by fans following his dismissal for nought in the second innings after managing only two runs in the first.
"I try my best every time I go out to bat, so I will do that again."
Ashraful conceded that Vettori's all-round abilities were a threat but denied his team will target the New Zealand skipper.
"We are worried about his ability both in batting and bowling, but we do not target any one player, we are more worried about our own performance," he said.