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NZ Target Shakib In One-Day Series

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori

Wellington, Oct 1 NZPA - New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has identified Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan as his team's biggest threat in the one-day series starting next week in Dhaka.

"Obviously Shakib is probably their best player, so if we can nullify him we know we are going to win," Vettori said as their planned warmup match against a Bangladeshi 11 was called off today due to rain.

The five-match series starts on Tuesday and the tourists still hope to get a match under their belts against a Bangladeshi 11 on Sunday.

Shakib, 23, scored his maiden test century against New Zealand at Hamilton in February when the New Zealanders won that match comfortably and enjoyed a 3-0 one-day series cleansweep.

The left-arm spinner and thoughtful middle to lower order batsman is no longer captaining his country in the one-day arena, a role now entrusted to Mashrafe Mortaza, but Vettori appreciates what he means to Bangladesh.

"He is a very good player, he has proven himself particularly in these conditions, so he is probably their main player."

Shakib is rated No 1 in the International Cricket Council rankings for one-day allrounders. He has played 94 one-dayers, scoring 2465 runs and taking 109 wickets.

Vettori, who is rated at No 5, said a comparison between him and Shakib was inevitable.

"I think we have some similarity, we both bat down the order at the same position and we both bowl left-arm spin," he told reporters in Dhaka.

"And Shakib was captain for a while, so there was some obvious comparison. The key for us hopefully is that we can play a role in our team winning. Obviously you want to try and out-think the opposition as much as you can. And Shakib is probably our main opposition."

Vettori said the absence of adventurous opener Tamim Iqbal, who was ruled out of the series due to surgery on his left wrist, was a big blow for Bangladesh.

"Iqbal is injured, so that's a big loss for Bangladesh. He scored a lot of runs at the top of the order. So he will be a loss throughout the series."

Vettori has warned his side against complacency during the series, but is confident of his team's chances. "We know it's a tough task. But I think you have to play really well to win every game you have and that's the way to go.

"We are confident as we have got some very good players, particularly our batting line-up with (Jesse) Ryder, (Brendon) McCullum and (Ross) Taylor at the top, (and there are) a lot of expectations on us. We are looking forward to winning the series."

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