New Zealand are feeling the heat, says Mushfiqur Rahim

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“We dominated three days of the Chittagong Test, so I would say we are ahead of them, mentally”

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim believes New Zealand must be feeling the heat after the first Test match between the two nations in Chittagong ended as a draw.

“I think they are under pressure,” Mushfiqur said. “It is not easy to play in our home conditions. They wouldn’t want to lose to a side ranked lower than them.

“We want to win this Test match. I think they would also want a result in this game. After the first two days, you can see which way the game is heading. The first innings is going to be vital in this Test. So we want to start well.”

However, in the past couple of years, Bangladesh’s record in the second Test of a two-Test series has been poor at best and they will have to perform just like they did during the first Test to really give New Zealand a run for their money.

Rahim also noted that Bangladesh have the upper hand over New Zealand since they dominated a majority of the first Test.

“We are hungry to win the second Test,” Mushfiqur said. “We had a lot of gains from the first game, but it was a draw. We wanted to win. The whole team is keen to win the game and the series. It is a huge challenge to play well in two Tests in a row, but the players are responsible these days. So I hope we remain consistent.

“We dominated three days of the Chittagong Test, so I would say we are ahead of them, mentally. Several players are just itching to get out there and perform. If we can combine it as a team, we will do well.”

Rahim was also quick to come to the defence of opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, both of whom are struggling to find any form at the moment.

“Shakib and Tamim are relaxed,” Rahim said. “They are always thinking about doing well in the next match. There are more performers in the team, around seven or eight guys. But the records of those two in Mirpur are great, so I am hoping that they do well here.”

Bangladesh are also likely to keep their team unchanged for the second Test, but there has been speculation that a third pace bowler might be used.

“It is likely that we will play the same combination,” Rahim said. “We will take a call tomorrow morning, but I am hoping to keep the seven batsman-four bowlers blend intact.”

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