January 8, Mount Maunganui
Start time 1500 local (0200 GMT)
New Zealand may be thinking about resting some of their key players in the dead rubber, including Trent Boult © AFP
A dead rubber has already come and gone on this tour, when New Zealand showed no lack of motivation and battered Bangladesh to seal the ODI series 3-0. They would look to do the same in the third T20I, though there may be thoughts of resting some of their Test specialists.
The management may choose to give some time off to Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult or Colin de Grandhomme given they have good back-ups in George Worker, at the top of the order, and Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson in the bowling attack, providing raw pace that tends to trouble Bangladesh.
At least one first-choice player will be on the bench for New Zealand with Luke Ronchi injuring his groin during Friday’s T20I. Tom Bruce stood in for him then, but uncapped specialist wicketkeeper batsman Tom Blundell, who has a strike-rate of 121.57 in 19 T20s, has been called up to the squad and could be looking at a debut in international cricket a day after winning the Super Smash final with Wellington.
Bangladesh might be thinking along the lines of resting their frontline players too – notably Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan – and instilling some freshness into the XI. Mashrafe Mortaza would also like to sign off with a win in New Zealand, having endured his worst series as captain.
(completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand WWLWW
In the spotlight
Soumya Sarkar finally got runs on Friday, an encouraging 39 that included typically elegant fours and sixes. He would be expected to play better to prove he has gotten over his slump.
Colin Munro would also like to follow up his barn-storming 101 with another innings of substance. He couldn’t do so in the ODIs, falling for 3 after a match-winning 87, so the weekend crowd at the Bay Oval have a lot to look forward to.
Tom Blundell could replace the injured Luke Ronchi and George Worker might get to play for New Zealand for the first time in over a year.
New Zealand (probable) 1 Kane Williamson (capt), 2 George Worker, 3 Colin Munro, 4 Corey Anderson, 5 Tom Bruce, 6 Colin de Grandhomme/ James Neesham, 7 Tom Blundell (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Matt Henry/ Ben Wheeler, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult/ Lockie Ferguson
With Taskin Ahmed named in the Test squad, he won’t be risked in a dead rubber but Shuvagata Hom and Taijul Islam may get their first match on tour if the senior players are rested.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Soumya Sarkar, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Nurul Hasan (wk) 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Pitch and conditions
The Mount Maunganui pitch was on the slower side in the second T20I, but not so much that it curtailed big-hitting. Bangladesh were unable to cope against the heavy wind on Friday and would want to factor that into their calculations as well. It is forecast to be a bright and sunny day.
Stats and trivia
- Munro struck seven sixes in his 101 in the second T20I, equaling his personal best but one short of the New Zealand record of eight in an innings, by Brendan McCullum
- In six matches between them, Bangladesh have never beaten New Zealand in a T20I.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo