New Zealand are definitely the stronger side on paper against Bangladesh    Getty Images
New Zealand are definitely the stronger side on paper against Bangladesh Getty Images

New Zealand will take on Bangladesh in first of the three Twenty20 International (T20I) games at McLean Park, Napier. The hosts will be looking to clean-sweep Bangladesh yet once again after they whitewashed them in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. The hosts are the No.1 ranked side in T20Is while their opponents are reeling at No. 10 in the rankings, which can serve as a psychological advantage for the Kane Williamson-led side. The hosts can definitely expect some fight from the wounded tigers as they are well known for bouncing back. This tour has already proved a stern exam for Bangladesh as all their weak points have been exposed brutally in the foreign conditions by the Black Caps.

Keeping in mind these criteria s, these are some of the key battles that are likely to happen and based on which, the result of the match should depend a lot on:

Shakib Al Hasan vs Kane Williamson: The Kiwi skipper and the greatest cricketer Bangladesh has ever produced. These two are the stalwarts of their team and have been consistent with their game despite the team result. With Bangladesh having their backs against the wall, the visitors will expect their star all-rounder to come up with something special having played an enormous amount of the shortest form of cricket. The quality that he possesses keeps Bangladesh s chances high, and it will be a crucial contest for Shakib.

FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Bangladesh vs New Zealand, 1st T20I at Napier

The New Zealand skipper, on the other hand, is the strongest pillar of the side. Williamson will be hoping to set records straight, and in all possibility, a 3-0 would be the apt result for them going by their standards. So with the hopes to make dominate the series, Williamson would deploy all his tactics to the best of their abilities. So far, Williamson has proved to be a better tactician in the shorter formats.

Mehedi Hasan vs Mitchell Santner: The young Bangladesh spinner Mehedi Hasan has been making headlines for the past couple of months. Although spin would hardly make an impact in the New Zealand conditions, a gem of a bowler like Mehedi could indeed turn things around. However, New Zealand have Mitchell Santner, who could make a difference in the match. Both bowlers have been star-turners for their respective side and it should be interesting to see how and when these players make an impact for their team.

Colin de Grandhomme vs Tamim Iqbal: De Grandhomme came as a complete surprise package against Pakistan in the Test series earning him accolades from all over the world. He has proved lethal in his home conditions and is a smart bowler with a lot of variations under his sleeves. Tamim, on the other hand, is the best batsman Bangladesh produced and can explode from the very first ball of the game. Tamim hasn’t done too well so far and he will target some runs.