The first match of Bangladesh's three-match Test series against hosts New Zealand will begin today at the Seddon Park in Hamilton -- on a green-top that could see pacers dominate terms although the pitch is said to have something for both batsmen and bowlers.
Bangladesh failed miserably in the preceding three-match ODI series, being whitewashed in their favoured format. While the batsmen's failures, especially the top-order debacle, were mainly scrutinised for the outcome, the bowlers were also far from an acceptable standard.
It remains to be seen if an inexperienced pace unit -- which may be without Mustafizur Rahman as Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh said the left-armer was not ready for all three games -- is ready for the challenge. With 12 Tests to his name, Mustafizur is the most experienced among the lot which also features Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain and Khaled Ahmed. Among the others, Jayed has played three Tests and Khaled featured in one while Ebadot is yet to be capped in the format.
Given the type of pitch, Bangladesh will presumably be taking the field with three pacers. If he is not rested, Mustafizur will be an obvious pick, with competition for two spots among the other three pacers.
However, even Mustafizur has been out of touch lately, so it can be said that a very tough challenge lies ahead for the quicks even on a green-top, regardless of which combination Bangladesh opt to go with in the first Test.