DHAKA: New Zealand leg spinner Ish Sodhi said his side hoped to finish their long season away from home on a high by beating Bangladesh in the upcoming second Test.

“It’s been a really, really long time away,” Sodhi told reporters in Dhaka. “It’s been a really successful last six or so months for the team, but it can come with a lot of emotions”.

The Kiwis, who started their long season with a tour to Pakistan in April, have also played series in Britain, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates, before playing in the World Cup in India, a time Sodhi described as emotional “rollercoasters”.

The Kiwis are trailing Bangladesh 0-1 in the two-Test series after their 150-run defeat in the opening Test in Sylhet.

The second Test in Dhaka begins on Wednesday.

“It’ll be really nice to finish on a high,” he said. “I think the boys are super motivated. Hopefully, we’ll get some treats here before we leave, and then we can go and smell that beer. It’s going to be beautiful New Zealand air pretty soon.”

New Zealand’s defeat in Sylhet was their first Test defeat in Bangladesh and only second against the side.

But Sodhi said they had learned lessons they would use in the final match.

“I think the way Bangladesh played, they certainly outplayed us,” he said. “But, upon reflection, I think they gave us a blueprint on what is successful in these conditions, and hopefully we can apply that to this next Test match.”

The Kiwis have not won a Test in Bangladesh since their three-wicket win in Chittagong in 2008.

Their next three Tests ended in a draw, before the side slumped to defeat in the opening Test of the series.

New Zealand, however, defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in the ODI leg of the tour before the World Cup to end their 15-year wait for a series victory in the country.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2023

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