Despite a couple of players preferring to travel by road rather than hop on flights in "little planes" in New Zealand, Bangladesh should take off here because they have played some "excellent one-day internationals" recently, according to coach Steve Rhodes.

"We've beaten the West Indies a couple of times and we should take a lot of heart from that," Rhodes said, before revealing a couple of his players were driving to Napier for the opening ODI from 2pm tomorrow but declined to name them.

The Yorkshireman, who played 11 tests and nine ODIs for England, said it would be difficult for his troops here after posting a winless streak in 10 outings in New Zealand.

"I think New Zealand have still got to play some very good cricket to beat us," said the 54-year-old who assumed the mantle of Bangladesh coach in June last year.


Rhodes had no doubt captain Kane Williamson and his troops, as does counterpart Mashrafe Mortaza and his players, would use the latter's giant-killing victory against the Kiwis at the ICC Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom in June 2017 as motivation during the three-match ODI series.

He felt Bangladesh had mustered a lot of international experience and coming here was the ideal tonic before the ICC World Cup in England from May to July.

Rhodes said world No 2 ODI batsman Shakib Al Hasan's finger was a clean break so it was just a matter of how quickly it would take to heal.

"It's a big blow to us because there aren't too many Shakib Al Hasans around the world," he said, revealing Al Hasan had stayed behind after the Bangladesh Premier League final.

The tourists had also lost fast bowler Taskin Ahmed to the BPL, which had disrupted their preparation a little, but Rhodes emphasised the benefits of the tourney outweighed the losses.

Left-arm speed merchant Mustafizur Rahman, who has been juxtaposed with India's Jasprit Bumrah as the world's best death bowler, should give the Black Caps a tickle if he adjusts to the bounce and carry here.

"I think in any type of white-ball he's the type of guy you'd like in your side because he's ranked in the top five in the world in the ODIs as a bowler and we don't have too many in that bracket so certainly Fizz is performing especially towards the end of the innings," Rhodes said.

He felt India showed their class and depth in their ability to rest quality players to bring in other squad members and still maintain that competitive edge.


However, he didn't think the Gary Stead-coached Kiwis would let the weight of the 4-1 ODI series defeat to the world No 1 side dent their approach.

If anything, New Zealand would use those bruises to reignite their campaign so Bangladesh would have to be prepared.

Rhodes revealed the underlying exercise here was to tinker with their 14-member squad for the world cup although winning the series would be a fillip.

He didn't anticipate too much turn in the bounce-and-carry wickets of New Zealand but suspected wrist spinners might find some profit.

"They know we've lost our best spinner in Shakin Al Hasan so maybe they'll make some spin wickets for us," he said with a grin.

Rhodes said they were aware of the sun-strike factor here and had, after speaking with them, left it for the match officials to deal with it.

"I don't think it'll go on for too long or spoil the occasion for anybody who wants to come to watch quite a lot of cricket."

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nayeem Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Mominul Haque