Mahmudullah, has stated that Bangladesh is a very competitive and confident team at home. The skipper further added that the hosts are not taking New Zealand lightly ahead of the upcoming five-match T20I series, and said that overconfidence can be a negative thing, especially in the shortest format.
After having their first-ever series victory over Australia, Bangladesh will now host a five-match T20I series against New Zealand, beginning September 1. New Zealand have sent their second-string team to Bangladesh without a single player from the T20I world cup squad.
The Mahmudullah-led Bangladesh, meanwhile, are boosted up with confidence after winning consecutive series against Zimbabwe and Australia.
The hosts are keen to make use of the home conditions against the Black Caps. Bangladesh skipper, Mahmudullah stated that the team is very competitive and confident at home ahead of the five-match T20I series.
"There will always be expectations especially when it has built up in our home conditions. We are very competitive and confident at home. We use our condition well. Every opportunity for the team and individual must be valued. Rest will take care of itself."
“It is a very good opportunity for our team. We are eager to prove that we are good at home. I am hopeful that the boys will be up for it”.
Bangladesh is facing a selection dilemma ahead of the five-match T20I series, with the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim making a comeback to the squad. The hosts have atleast four options for the opening slot. Mahmudullah attested that the players will share their responsibilities to bring balance in the playing XI.
"Liton is an outstanding opener while Soumya has been in good form this year," Mahmudullah said. "Naim has been one of the top-ranked batter in our side. Mahedi is also an opening option. They are all in good rhythm. We have to make sure those who get the opportunity can contribute for the team. The positive competition within the team is a good sign."
The pace bowling unit offers a great variety too. The likes of Muztafizur Rahman and Shoriful Islam are the preferred pair in the seam attack, while Mohammad Saifuddin has used every opportunity in white-ball cricket recently. Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain are waiting for their opportunities to exhibit their bowling skills. Mahmudullah stated that Bangladesh has got a very well balanced seam bowling unit with a variety of options.
"Shoriful bowled well in four matches (against Australia)," Mahmudullah said. "Mustafiz has been outstanding. Taskin has been bowling well but not getting enough opportunities. We have Rubel. Saifuddin made most of the opportunity. There's good competition going on in every department."
The Bangladesh skipper stated that the team is not looking up to the ‘favorite tag’ in the series, and he added that at some times overconfidence can be negative for the team even when you are playing against an under-strength team.
"You can consider yourself favorites in T20s, but if it becomes overconfidence, it can be negative for you. The team that reads the conditions well and has the hunger to do well on the day usually comes out on top in the T20s.”
Bangladesh will face New Zealand in the opener of the five-match T20I series on Wednesday, September 1.