Pacer Matt Henry was thrilled about his selection in the New Zealand squad after he was named as a replacement for top-order batsman Finn Allen for the upcoming five-match T20I series against the hosts Bangladesh, scheduled to start on September 1 in Dhaka.
“I just got a phone call from Steady (Gary Stead) informing me of the situation. It sounds Finn is doing really well, but it is a great opportunity for myself,” the 29-year old said on Friday.
“It is great to get over there early, and join the squad in Bangladesh, is really exciting,” he added.
Henry, who last played a T20I against the same team in 2017 in Napier, was called into the New Zealand squad after Allen was tested Covid-19 positive in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The right-arm pacer will depart from New Zealand on August 30 to link up with the squad in Dhaka.
Henry was initially selected for their next series against Pakistan, comprising five three ODIs and five T20Is after the series against Bangladesh.
Henry, who will be on his first trip to Bangladesh, believed that his experience of playing in India and UAE has made him confident of performing well in the series and he’s looking to take the series as a challenge.
“I haven’t been to Bangladesh. It is my first time there. I have played in India and UAE. I have experience in sub-continent conditions so I am going there with a lot of confidence,” he said.
“There were a lot of low-scoring games in the last series there, so looking forward to the challenge. I played domestic T20 cricket last season, so I will fall back on that experience.
“I have played against Bangladesh over the last few years. But those were in our conditions, which are very different than what we are about to experience. Bangladesh has been very strong in their recent series. They are known to be a very tough team to play at home,” he added.
New Zealand head coach Stead said from Christchurch that Henry was the best man for the job.
“Matt’s clearly not a like-for-like replacement for Finn, but he expands our selection options and, in the current circumstances, is the best equipped to join the side at such short notice,” said Stead.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand squad led by skipper Tom Latham completed their first training session on Friday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka after completing a three-day mandatory quarantine in the team hotel.
The visitors started their practice with a fielding session while the batters later practised against slow cutters and spin bowling which seemed to be the option that the Tigers would go against them during the upcoming series.
The Kiwis, however, looked confident during their first training session as they repeatedly said before and after coming to Bangladesh that they didn’t want to make the same mistake as what Australia did against the Tigers during the recent series in which Bangladesh won by 4-1.
The Aussies tried to outclass Bangladesh by their lethal pace bowling options in likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Andrew Tye but eventually, they failed to that idea as Bangladesh spinners and cutter master Mustafizur Rahman were too hot to handle for the visitors and the visitors were left clueless in the entire series.