Preview: Bangladesh seek history in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh go head-to-head in hunt for series trophy in the second Test at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
The match will close out the league stage of inaugural World Test Championship, where Sri Lanka have had one win and Bangladesh none. It’s still a fight for pride as both sides seek redemption. Bangladesh have been faltering in international cricket since the ODI series win over West Indies. Sri Lanka are yet to see a Test win since their return to cricket from pandemic.
Bangladesh will take heart from batting displays in the first Test on the same ground where they piled on their sixth-highest total (541/7d). Najmul Hossain Shanto’s maiden century and Taskin Ahmed’s efforts on his Test return can allow the visitors to dream of a win. The head coach Russell Domingo has pressed on winning what could be Bangladesh’s only second away series win in their Test history.
“Absolutely, we want to try to win the series,” Domingo said. “I think it’ll be a great achievement if we can. We know we have to play well throughout the five days. Sri Lanka are tough side to beat, especially at home. We know it’s tough to win in Sri Lanka. But our focus is making sure we start the Test well and focus at one session at a time.
“Definitely, we have an ambition of winning the series in Sri Lanka. [It’s] something we have set ourselves a goal, try to win a series away from home, something we want to achieve in the five days.”
From suffering four consecutive losses to South Africa and England, Sri Lanka have so far kept their promise to be a ‘hard team to beat’ in drawing last three Tests against West Indies and Bangladesh.
Despite skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva’s big first Test scores, the lack of bite from their bowlers is a worry. Lakshan Sandakan, the left-arm wrist-spinner, can be a solution as Bangladesh have had issues with such type of bowling. He is a frontrunner to replace injured Lahiru Kumara in the XI.
While Bangladesh do not bother changing their combination. They have kept the same squad as the first Test. Saif Hassan, who has had a lean run in his career, will be given another go ahead of Shadman Islam. Teen left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam could make his debut in whites.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karaunaratne (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque (captain), Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das (wk), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed Rahi, Shoriful Islam.