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Black Caps seek seventh-straight win

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 11/01/2017
Kane Williamson © MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP Kane Williamson

The New Zealand cricketers are seeking a tour sweep against Bangladesh when they begin the first of two Tests at Wellington's Basin Reserve today.

The Black Caps eased to 3-0 series victories against the tourists in the one day and Twenty20 formats, and with Bangladesh ranked 9th in the world out of the 10 Test playing nations, the New Zealanders are strong favourites to come away with two more wins.

While the Test team includes a number of different faces from those who contested the limited overs matches, the squad that will don their whites managed to sweep Pakistan 2-0 in their most recent Test series in November.

Captain Kane Williamson said he is expecting to name an unchanged playing 11 from the Paksitan series, with batsman Ross Taylor re-joining the squad after missing their one day tour to Australia and the start of the Bangladesh tour to have a growth on his eye removed.

He was left out of the T20 team which rolled the visitors last week.

Taylor said despite the Black Caps strong form, they're not underestimating the tourists on what's a very green Basin Reserve wicket.

"Bangladesh, you know over the last few years haven't played a lot of Test cricket away from home so it's going to be difficult on that wicket but we can't take them lightly," he said.

"I'm sure their fast bowlers will be licking their lips looking at that wicket, but at the same time, when there is a bit of green grass it does bring the teams a bit closer together so hopefully, when we do bat, we can negate their seamers and obviously put some pressure on their top order when we do get a bowl as well."

The Black Caps coach Mike Hesson agrees they can't let their guard slip against Bangladesh

"They're the sort of side that if they get their tail up, they sort of grow another leg and they can put you under a lot of pressure," Hesson said.

"They love appealing, they love putting pressure on the batting side if they're under the pump - if they're not, and you're abl;e to put them under pressure early, then these conditions will be challenging for them."

The weather conditions aren't expected to be ideal for the home team either.

Rain is forecast on and off in Wellington over the five days, which will make it more difficult to for either team to come away with a win.

But captain Kane Williamson said it won't stop them from trying.

"Naturally, if the game's interrupted, and shortened, then that can make it more challenging for both sides to get a result," he said.

"But nowadays there's more results in Test cricket - guys play more aggressively with the bat, surfaces there always seems to be a bit in it whether it spins or whether it seams a bit, and perhaps when there's weather around there brings a bit of cloud cover which can help the seamers.

"I haven't really had a look at the forecast too closely, but we'll certainly be focusing on the cricket that we can play to give ourselves the best chance [of a win]."

-RNZ

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