Former skipper Angelo Mathews believes Sri Lanka will face a stiff challenge from host Bangladesh when the two sides meet in the first Test match – which is part of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 – scheduled to begin on 15 May at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong.
Prior to departure, the all-rounder went onto say:
“I think Bangladesh is a very strong team and if you take them lightly you are fooling yourself. You need to play your ‘A’ game to beat Bangladesh, and we need to perform really well. We got the skill and the talent. We want to go there and execute plans and I’m sure we will do that.”
“We got a very good squad. As I said earlier, we need to go there and execute our plan, and we need to play really well to beat Bangladesh, especially in their home conditions. At home they have been playing extremely well – some really good cricket – and they’ve beaten the giants as well, so we need to go there and play our best game and do our very best,” Angelo further added.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced an 18-man squad for the forthcoming Test tour of Bangladesh, which includes an experienced batting line-up but lacks teeth in the bowling line-up, especially in the pace department.
Classy batter Roshen Silva has opted out of the Bangladesh tour, with former skipper Angelo Mathews and right-hander Dhananjaya de Silva asked to help Karunaratne out at the top of the order.
With Suranga Lakmal retired and Dushmantha Chameera concentrating on white-ball cricket, Sri Lanka’s seam attack is likely to be led by left-armer Vishwa Fernando.
The other seamers included in the squad are Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne and uncapped Dilshan Madushanka, with Mathews also an option to support them.
Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya will lead Sri Lanka’s spin attack. Ramesh Mendis and Praveen Jayawickrama are the other options that Karunaratne will have at his disposal.
Sri Lanka’s previous Test series occurred earlier this year against India. The tourists were severely outplayed by Rohit Sharma’s side in India, losing the Test series 0-2, which included an innings defeat.
Sri Lanka will also head into the series with new head coach Chris Silverwood, for whom it will be his first assignment.
In the current WTC cycle, Dimuth Karunaratne’s team has only played two Test series. They are presently ranked fifth in the points standings, with a victory percentage of 50%.
The two-Test series commences in Chittagong on 15 May, with the series then moving to Dhaka for the second and final Test on 23 May.
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
By Mustaq Sydeen