About the Match
A Bangladesh versus Sri Lanka test match is not longer the foregone conclusion that it once was. The visitors are a much-improved team while the hosts are coming off a torrid South African tour. Can Bangladesh pull off an upset and sneak in a win against Sri Lanka?
1st Test Preview
Rangana Herath is going to be leading the Sri Lankan side since Angelo Mathews is unavailable because of injury and he would be wary of the task ahead of him. Bangladesh has improved leaps and bounds over the last few years and is now a very competent side.
There are some changes that have been made in the aftermath of the complete annihilation that South Africa laid on the Sri Lankans. The Wicket Keeping duties will be handed over to Niroshan Dickwella, who also impressed with the bat, and Asela Gunaratne finds a place in the test side as a reward for some fantastic limited overs batting in the last one month or so.
Upul Tharanga is also back at the top of the order. He is one batsman that always ignites some passion among Sri Lankan fans as a part of them feels he was not given the run he deserved while others question his temperament.
We think he is one of the batsmen that can be backed to get a fifty plus scores in this match. The Sri Lankan batting is going to be much more effective in home conditions and Kusal Mendis would be hoping to regain the form he showed against Australia.
Dinesh Chandimal also has a fantastic record against Bangladesh but may be low on confidence after being found out in South Africa. We would advise backing Gunaratne to score the highest score in the innings considering the form he has been in.
The bowling attack for Sri Lanka will be led by the brilliant and dependable Rangana Herath alongside Dilruwan Perera, Dhanajaya de Silva, and the two pacers. Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara are likely to be the fast bowlers that Sri Lanka picks for this game.
There is some talk about three seamers being picked on a greener than normal Galle wicket, however, we are sure that both sides will pick up three spinners.
Rangana Herath is our pick to be the highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the match.
Bangladeshi supporters will be rightly hopeful of competing and possibly even winning a test match on this tour. They are going to have the services of almost their entire first eleven and have done reasonably well in the warm-up matches as well.
The opening duo of Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar are going to come hard at the Sri Lankan bowlers while a middle order comprising of Mominul, Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim deserves the respect of any opposition.
Mushfiqur Rahim has been in excellent form through 2017 and is our pick to be the highest run scorer in the test match. He has also been relieved of the wicket keeping duties to allow him to focus on his batting, a move that we think will pay nice dividends for Bangladesh.
Every good team has at least one player that is a standout performer and for Bangladesh, that is Shakib Al Hasan. His batting and bowling will both be crucial to how Bangladesh fair on this tour. Back him to get a fifty plus score in this test match.
The bowling for Bangladesh is also looking quite good with Mustafizur Rahman returning from injury. The left armer does not have the best record in the longer form of the game, however, is capable of pitching in with crucial wickets.
The main threat to the Sri Lankan batting will be from the spin of Mehedi Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, and Taijul Islam. Mehedi Hasan showed excellent bowling form in India and could be a handful on the spin-friendly pitches of Sri Lanka.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitches in Sri Lanka have been the most spin friendly in the world over the last few years and that has meant a tough job for visiting batsmen. Bangladesh, however, is one team that has some excellent spinners of their own plus batsmen that are brought up on a regular diet of spin bowling.
We think that Sri Lanka will not prepare pitches that take vicious turn and hope that the quality of their bowlers is good enough to take 20 wickets on friendlier batting surfaces.
We think this test series will be a closely contested one and Bangladesh should be able to run Sri Lanka close. It is difficult, however, to look past Sri Lanka at home.
Back Sri Lanka to win.
Winner: Sri Lanka, 1.66 @ Bet on Sri Lanka now