With cloudy evening conditions welcoming both teams in Napier along with some rain predicted for the second innings, Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto opted to chase at the toss in the first T20I against New Zealand.
He also handed a debut to right-arm quick Tanzim Hasan Sakib. With Kane Williamson resting from the T20Is following medical advice, it was Mitchell Santner who led the hosts for the first of three games.
There was no place for Rachin Ravindra – Williamson’s replacement in the squad – with Tim Seifert, Finn Allen, Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips carded as the top four batters. Left-hand middle and lower-order batters complete the New Zealand batting unit. Santner and Ish Sodhi offer spin options, and James Neesham, Mitchell and Phillips could be potential options alongside three quicks. Kyle Jamieson was unavailable for the match and the series after initially being named in the squad.
Soumya Sarkar kept his place as the opener for Bangladesh following his career-best 151-ball 169 in the second ODI. He last played a T20I in November 2022 and will open alongside Litton Das. Bangladesh have opted for the offspin of Mahedi Hasan and the legspin of Rishad Hossain, alongside the pace of Tanzim and two left-arm seamers.
Napier has been a relatively unsuccessful venue for the hosts, with only two T20I wins in five previous outings. Both those victories, though, came against Bangladesh in 2017 and 2021.
New Zealand XI: Tim Seifert (wk), Finn Allen, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner (capt), Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears.
Bangladesh XI: Litton Das (wk), Soumya Sarkar, Najmul Hossain Shanto (capt), Rony Talukdar, Towhid Hridoy, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Mustafizur Rahman. espncricinfo