Sri Lanka cricket team led by Dimuth Karunaratne is likely to strengthen their spin department in the second and final Test against Bangladesh which will commence today at Dhaka’s Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium Minpur.
According to Bangladesh reports Minpur wicket normally favours spinners especially during the last days of the test match with both sides going to use their key weapon the spinners. Sri Lanka team has played with two specialist spinners off spinner Ramesh Mendis and leg spinner Lasith Embuldeniya while part-time off spinner Dhananjaya de Silva also gave much needed support.
However, bowlers from both teams struggled to make an impact on all five days of the drawn First Test in Chittagong while batsmen of the two sides dominated the first test scoring runs heavily. Sri Lanka scored 397 and 260 for 6 wickets while Bangladesh scored 465. Altogether both sides scored 1122 runs during five days losing only 26 wickets.
However, the Minpur wicket is totally different from Chiattagong wicket as it is more suitable for spinners, and batsmen from both sides will struggle against the spinners.
This has happened in previous matches played on Minpur wicket which is prepared by chief curator former Sri Lankan cricket umpire and first class cricketer Gamini Silva who has done tremendous duty for the last 13 years. The Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium is expected to offer some assistance and no Test has been drawn on the ground since 2016. Both sides are looking to get a result in this deciding Test.
Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said the lessons from the first Test are very important to do better in this second test and they are looking to get a victory to win the series. It is very important as this series is part of the ICC test championship but we can’t underestimate our opponents Bangladesh as they really play well on their home conditions and that is an advantage for them said Karunaratne.
Sri Lanka is looking to get the services of young leg spinner Praveen Jayawickrama in place of a paceman either Lasith Embuldeniya or Kasun Rajitha who replaced Vishwa Fernando due to his injury during the match while Rajitha finished with his career best figures of 4 for 60 and Rajitha could get his chance once again today and Sri Lanka most probably will make one change with Praveen Jayawickrama in place of Lasith Embuldeniya.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh off-spinner Nayeem Hasan, who claimed 6-105 in the first innings of the first Test, was the latest to be ruled out with a finger injury on Friday and this is a big loss for Bangladesh.
The hosts Bangladesh are also without paceman Taskin Ahmed, spinner Mehidy Hasan and left arm medium paceman Shoriful Islam. Bangladesh have opted not to replace pacer Shoriful, who suffered a hand injury in Chittagong, while a replacement for Nayeem is yet to be named.
Skipper Mominul Haque said it would need to be a team effort. “Batsmen or bowlers, we get good results when we can play as a team. The team gets into a good position whenever we make a collective effort. It will help us in Dhaka,” Mominul said. He pointed to the hosts’ extensive experience of the wicket in the capital.
“We play most of our matches in Dhaka. I think we know how to handle spin and pace,” he said. Bangladesh are confident before the second test while their spin coach Rangana Herath who was the former Sri Lankan leg spinner is a plus point to the team on this spin track.
Meanwhile, Dimuth Karunaratne and his team also are confident as they have won all three Test matches they have played at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, including a 215-run victory during their last visit in 2018.
“Our pacers did better than theirs (in the first Test). We have a few positives in that aspect,” said Sri Lankan all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva
Both sides have experienced batters Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Matthews, Kusal Mendis from Sri Lanka while Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, and Mushfiqar Rahim are in good form to make big scores.
However, Sri Lankan team should realize the importance of making a big total in the first innings. They struggled most of the first innings of the test matches recently and that was the main reason for the inability to win recently.
Bangladesh Squad: Mominul Haque (Capt), Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Mosaddek Hossain, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Khaled Ahmed, Quazi Nurul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman, Shohidul Islam.
Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Suminda Lakshan, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya.