Ross Taylor was pleased to feel the sun on his back today after the scheduled warm up match was abandoned without a ball being bowled, with the rain making crossing the BLACKCAPS hotel car park as challenging as crossing Cook Straight. "I didn't expect to see sun when I woke up to be honest, but it's nice to get out and face some bowlers on grass. The guys have prepared well indoors and while you can't control the weather, it's refreshing to get outside - hopefully the sun comes out again tomorrow."
Taylor was part of the 2008 BLACKCAPS side that chased down 317 to win the first Test, and subsequently the series 1-0 (alongside a 4-0 loss in the ODIs), but he dismisses talk of revenge. "We're focused on the Test series ahead, we know Bangladesh are a very good Test side at home and play very well in these conditions. We need to be at the top of our game to not only compete, but put the pressure on them."
Some old foes and new faces in the Bangladesh side stand out. "Tamim Iqbal is a world class player, as is Shakib Al Hasan. They've brought back Abdur Razzak, who's had success against us in the past. Sohag Gazi we haven't seen a lot of apart from video footage. Mahmudullah has played very well against us as well, scoring a very good hundred in Hamilton."
Taylor points out that the home side won't have seen much of New Zealand's current spin attack. "Ish Sodhi is yet to make his Test debut - he'll relish that and any leg spinner is going to be dangerous when they put the ball in the right areas for long enough. Bruce Martin too will be looking to cement his spot in the Test team, and what better place to do it than in spinner friendly conditions."
The question of facing quality spin on sub continent pitches keeps coming up "Every time a New Zealand side comes here it's the first thing we're asked. A lot of guys have played over here before, as well as India and Sri Lanka - it doesn't come naturally to us to play aggressively against spin, but we're working on the right formulas to play positively and score runs."
Taylor is confident the BLACKCAPS pace attack will get in on the action also - "With the wet weather, I'm sure the seamers will be in the mix. Reverse swing will play a part in the game - we've got some top quality international seamers that will be relishing using not only the new ball on this wicket, but also a reverse swinging ball as well."