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New Zealand bank on World Cup 2023 form ahead of Bangladesh Tests

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New Zealand coach Luke Ronchi said Sunday that his side’s ICC World Cup 2023 experience in India would help end their barren run in Bangladesh, as they prepare to face the hosts for a two-Test series.

New Zealand has largely played on Asian soil this year, with series in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in various formats, before they played the ICC World Cup 2023 in India in October and November.

The Kiwis put up a credible show at the tournament, losing to hosts India in the semi-final.

“It’s definitely going to help us,” Ronchi told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s match at Sylhet.

“I think if we’d come straight from green wickets in New Zealand to the Bangladesh wickets, it’s a big change,” he added.

“But for the majority of our group here, they have been in India. They’ve been at the World Cup.

“They have been practising on different surfaces, slower and turning sort of surfaces. So that hopefully helps us for this Test series.”

Before travelling to India, New Zealand ended their 15-year wait to win a series in Bangladesh, beating the home side 2-0 in the three-match one-day international series.

The Kiwis have not, however, won a Test in Bangladesh since their three-wicket win in Chittagong in 2008.

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Their next three Tests, including both matches in a 2013 series, ended in a draw.

The visitors, who played with just one spinner back in 2013, named a spin-heavy squad for the upcoming series.

This time, Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel join Ish Sodhi along with two spin all-rounders, Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra.

Ronchi believed spinners from both camps would play a big role.

“The quality of spin and pace in both sides is going to be really high,” he said.

Bangladesh will miss regular captain and experienced spinner Shakib Al Hasan for the series, while pacers Taskin Ahmed and Ebadot Hossain will be out due to injury.

Veteran batsman Tamim Iqbal and opener Liton Das are also not available for the series due to injury and a family break respectively.

“It’s challenging to lose that much of experience from any team, especially for Bangladesh,” said coach Chandika Hathurusingha.

He said the absences did, however, offer a chance to test other players.

“I think it’s exciting, and it’s an opportunity for some of the youngsters to make their name,” he said.

The second Test of the series will be held in Dhaka from December 6–10.

READ: Uganda upset Zimbabwe to claim historic win in ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Qualifiers

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