With slightly unpleasant memories of their last tour and without talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh will kick off their sojourn through New Zealand with the first ODI against the hosts in Napier tomorrow. Shakib's absence due to a fractured left little finger notwithstanding, the Tigers were boosted by the arrival of skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal, who reached Napier yesterday along with three other squad members who had stayed behind to fulfil their Bangladesh Premier League commitments. The second and third ODIs will be held in Christchurch and Dunedin on February 16 and 20 respectively, before the Tigers take on New Zealand in a three-Test series from February 28. In Bangladesh's previous visit to New Zealand in 2016-17, the Tigers lost all three ODIs, two T20Is and two Tests and have never beaten the hosts in their backyard across three tours of the country.
They did come close to winning an ODI on the last tour, but wasted the opportunity and quite a few others that they created. They were also well on the way to achieving a drawn first Test in Wellington, where Shakib hit a double-century and Mushfiqur Rahim scored 159, but they crumbled to a defeat in their second innings on the fifth day.
Even though Shakib will not be there for much of the tour as the Test skipper will need at least three weeks to recover from the fracture, Mashrafe and Co can draw from the last tour and know that they can push their hosts if they can keep their act together.