HAMILTON: Unbeaten New Zealand made their first team change of the World Cup on Friday when left-arm paceman Mitchell McClenaghan replaced the injured Adam Milne for their final Pool A match against Bangladesh.
McClenaghan’s height and aggression will be an ideal complement to the speed and swing of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and Captain Brendon McCullum immediately opted to field after winning the toss in conditions which will suit the quick bowlers on a hot, steamy day after steady rain soaked Seddon Park on Thursday.
Bangladesh omitted Captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who led his team to an historic win over England on Monday.
Mortaza has been suffering from a sore throat but, perhaps more importantly, could have missed the quarter-finals if his team were fined for a second time for failing to bowl their 50 overs in the allotted time.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will captain the team.
New Zealand is top of Pool A and assured of a home quarter-final in Wellington while Bangladesh grabbed the final knockout place with their upset victory over England.
Bangladesh have won their last seven matches against New Zealand but all those matches were staged in favourable conditions at home. They have yet to win a one-day international in New Zealand.
New Zealand remains the form team of the tournament with captain McCullum, leading from the front as opener, possessing the highest strike rate.
Boult and Southee are second and third in the wicket-taking list with left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori in fifth place. The New Zealanders have dismissed each of their previous five opponents within 50 overs.
Coach Chandika Hathurusingha said on Thursday the sides were playing with renewed self-belief. “We are not afraid to fail,” he said. “I think if we are paralysed by failure, we are not pushing ourselves, that’s what we have talked about throughout this World Cup.”