Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo says his young guns have dismissed talk of Hagley Oval being a graveyard for visiting teams ahead of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Sunday.
The Black Caps see the picturesque central city ground as a safe haven and point to an impressive Test record of six wins, a loss and a draw at the oval.
The emerald wicket suits their swing and seam attack and they expect to atone for their shock loss to the tourists in the first Test.
But Domingo said his side had the confidence of youth and were not impressed by Hagley Oval’s reputation.
“They want to try and do what no other Bangladesh side’s done before and that’s win a series in New Zealand,” he said. “They’re halfway there, the job’s not done, but they’re very driven to try and achieve something very special.”
In the first Test in Mount Maunganui, which Bangladesh won by eight wickets, seven members of the New Zealand side were older than 30 and only two – Kyle Jamieson and Rachin Ravindra – were under 28.
In the victorious Bangladesh side, eight players were under 28 and Domingo said that was a critical element in their preparation.
“It’s a young side so they don’t come here with all the scars that some of the older players have gained from playing against New Zealand so many times,” he said.
New Zealand captain Tom Latham said he expected Bangladesh to be full of confidence but maintained the Hagley factor would favour New Zealand.
“It’s a completely different surface to what was up at the Mount and we know we’ve played some really good cricket here in recent years,” he said. “With the extra pace and carry here it does suit our bowlers.”
Latham added New Zealand had the additional incentive of providing a victorious farewell for senior batter Ross Taylor, in his final Test before retiring from international cricket.
“Hopefully we can celebrate a nice Test win and obviously a great career as well,” the captain said.
But Domingo warned New Zealand not to believe they were the only team to benefit from a green wicket.
“We’ve got some really quality fast bowlers at the moment and it’s not often Bangladesh can say that they’re actually looking forward to bowling on a wicket that has got a bit of grass on it,” he said.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around very often. You’re confident, you’re playing well and you’ve got a good balance to your side at the moment and conditions, as crazy as it might sound, could actually suit us.”
© Agence France-Presse