The pillow talk of Bangladesh is whether or not Bangladesh is heading towards Sri Lanka? Situation and circumstances alter cases. This is the forum for discussing cricket and more specifically Lanka Bangla ensuing test series taking off from tomorrow at Sagorika, Chattogram Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.
Taking the white ball performance of two teams in the recent past, composition of the units it can be safely said that seesaw battle is in the offing between the two evenly matched side. Bangladesh will three of their vastly experienced international quality players (taking star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan in the context) and considering the home advantage may have 20-19 edge. But given the balance of youth and experience of the visitors and their resolve to give solace to the struggling countrymen back at home it will be cricket crusade for the Lankans.
We hope that the trailing blaze of Ashani, the spoiler is gone and possibility of weather interfering is no longer looming. The home team will not be in full strength as speed star Taskin is nursing his bruised shoulders in London and all-rounder Mehedi Miraj is still not match fit.
Shoriful and Ebadat have some niggles. But a sigh of relief is that star all rounder Shakib Al Hasan has joined the squad after testing negative. He is thorough professional and knows the best whether or not his body can sustain the rigors of 5 days stress of a test match. He is a spinner not a pace bowler and in test he bats way down at six. In my opinion even a 60% match fit Shakib can boost Bangladesh possibilities of winning the test and winning the series. His inclusion in the team would strike right balance and Bangladesh can appear with an extra spin or a pace bowler, which would be appropriate. On the other hand, the combination of Shakib and Taijul would give edge to Bangladesh over a little inexperienced Sri Lankan batting. Notwithstanding what head coach Rasel Domingo say (well he must talk less) and also BCB boss feel Shakib should play.
Not having Taskin and full fit Shoriful would make a marginal difference as the wickets of Chattogram or even Dhaka would not be pacey or bouncy. Under the intense care of Alan Donald even Ebadat,
Khaled or Raza would deliver. It would a dilemma rather whether going with 6 batsmen and 5 bowlers including Shakib or 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers. For winning combination capable for taking 20 wickets would suggest playing 5 bowlers including Shakib.
There should not be any questions with Tamim and Joy opening. Tamim was in his element in domestic cricket after returning from South Africa. World cricket has seen little glimpse of a future international quality batsman in Mahmudul Hasan Joy. Bangladesh should also continue pinning hope on Nazmul Hossein Shanto.
Enough has been invested on him. If he fails to deliver in Chattogram Mominul should be promoted in Dhaka test. As far as Mominul or Mushfique are concerned they are class acts and are set to bouncing back. That leaves Shakib and Liton consolidating or retrieving in the lower middle order.
All knows what Shakib is capable of. Liton is in the form of his life. Few have suggested for promoting him to four or five. But that should be looked in the future. In case Shakib is not in the eleven then Yasir Rabbi would get in and Bangladesh would require Naeem Hasan as extra spinner.
We are not sure why and how Bangladesh batting witnessed collapse in two innings in South Africa? It was a combination of lack of application, panic and poor judgment. Hope that nightmares have no shadows over the team any longer.
Having said all above it will not at all be cakewalk for Bangladesh. Record says of the 22 tests played between the teams Sri Lanka is 17-1 ahead.
4 matches were drawn. Sri Lanka has 6-0 lead ahead of Bangladesh in 8 tests played in Bangladesh. In the present phase of Test Cricket (CWC) championship Sri Lanka is at 5th position and Bangladesh is at 8th. Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva and Matthews are no mug with the bat and they have balanced bowling attack (quality spinners and young emerging pacers)
Probable Playing XI:
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Nazmul Hossein, Mominul Haq (Capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton K Das, Taijul Islam, Naeem Islam, Shoriful Islam / Khaled and Ebadat.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, and Lasith Embuldeniya.
There are lots at stake for both teams. There are many international and bilateral assignments of both the teams even in 2022. Team that holds the nerve will win.
BDST: 1247 HRS, MAY 14, 2022