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Mahmudullah warns against overconfidence before NZ T20Is

Bangladesh T20I captain Mahmudullah Riyad has advised his boys against being overconfident as they prepare to play the five-match T20I series against New Zealand starting on Wednesday.

He, however, said the Bangladesh players have the ability to beat the Blackcaps in this series.

The Tigers go into the series with their first-ever 4-1 series win against Australia, which surely is boosting the confidence of the Bangladesh T20I side.

“As I always say that the T20 is a format where you can count yourself the favourite,” Mahmudullah said. “But being overconfident might play a negative role in our mind. To get successful in this format, we have to have the spirit to play well. If we can ensure it, we may have a good chance (to win this series).”

Bangladesh played a total of 10 matches against New Zealand in this format and failed to win any of them. Mahmudullah believes the team should continue on being hungry to win against New Zealand.

“We have played well against Zimbabwe, and we also played good cricket at home against Australia. We have to keep this hunger intact. It will surely bring positive results for us,” Mahmudullah added.

The squad that the New Zealand Cricket has sent to Bangladesh doesn’t have any member of their World Cup squad. Despite that, Mahmudullah said that it’s required to play disciplined cricket against New Zealand to beat them.

Bangladesh team management is sweating over deciding the opening stand. In the absence of Tamim Iqbal, the spot for the number one opener is quite open.

“Liton (Das) is outstanding, and Soumya (Sarkar) is also good. Along with them, (Mohammad) Naim is at the top ranking among us. We are not worried much about it. We just have to ensure that we can contribute to the team. Here is some positive competition in the team, and it will surely help us,” Mahmudullah further told in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

Bangladesh will split the keeping work in this series to Mushfiqur Rahim and Nurul Hasan Sohan, as the head coach Russell Domingo told the media.

According to him, Sohan will play the role of the wicketkeeper in the first two matches while Mushfiqur will do it in the next two matches, and the team management will decide who will be the keeper in the fifth match.

Tom Latham, the T20I captain of New Zealand, said the whole Bangladesh team is a big threat for them.

“They have threats all around their group. We saw how well they played against Australia. They have some great spinners and experience in the group. Our batting will be challenged by their spinners. They have some fearless batsmen, who take the game head-on,” Latham said in a virtual press meet also on Tuesday.

Source: United News of Bangladesh