Brendon McCullum is one of the most explosive batsman in world cricket. Image courtesy of bcci.tv
New Zealand will be looking to avoid a potential banana skin when they open their World Twenty20 campaign against Bangladesh on Friday. The Black Caps are well aware of the threat that Bangladesh can pose on the subcontinent, having suffered a 4-0 One Day International whitewash to them in 2010, the last time that the sides met.
New Zealand broke a four game losing streak in 20 over matches with their one run win over India earlier this month when they were able to field a full strength side for the first time since last, but could be without some key players for this contest. Paceman Tim Southee and batsman Rob Nicol were the players worse affected by a stomach bug that swept through the squad earlier in the week, while Kyle Mills is still suffering from injuries sustained in a collision with wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum in the game against India.
McCullum is considered one of the most destructive limited overs players in the game and his 158* scored for Kolkata in the Indian Premier League remains the highest individual score in 20 over matches. He is likely to bat at number three behind Martin Guptill and James Franklin , who has scored over 700 runs in all Twenty20 matches this year.
Bangladesh is likely to rely heavily on their slow bowler against the Black Caps, with left-arm spinners Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan the focal point of their attack. Al Hasan is also likely to shoulder a lot of responsibility with the bat, having recently been moved to first drop. He and Tamim Iqbal have been the two leading runscorers for the side in Twenty20 Internationals this year.
Immediately after the match between New Zealand and Bangladesh, reigning champions England get their title defence underway against Afghanistan , who put up a spirited display in their 23 run loss to India earlier in the week.
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