Sports, Cricket

Tigers eye Test success against Sri Lanka

Published : 21 Mar 2024 08:59 PM

Bangladesh aim to continue their strong Test form when they host Sri Lanka in the first match of a two-Test series starting on Friday at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. After a successful year in 2023, where they remained unbeaten in Test series at home, Bangladesh seek to maintain that momentum under new captain Najmul Hossain Shanto.

The two teams recently completed white-ball series, with Sri Lanka winning the T20 series and Bangladesh clinching the ODIs.

 While Tigers boast an unbeaten streak in 2023 Tests at home, their record against Sri Lanka remains a challenge. Bangladesh has only won one Test against Sri Lanka, a victory achieved in 2017 with key players Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, both absent in this series. Bangladesh's new Test skipper, Najmul Hossain Shanto, is eager to prove his leadership in this upcoming series against Sri Lanka. This will be his first official Test as captain, following his successful stint as stand-in captain during their victory against New Zealand last year (when Shakib Al Hasan opted out). Shanto's vision for Bangladesh's Test cricket is clear: dominate at home and be competitive on foreign soil. 

With this strategy in mind, Bangladesh will be determined to win against Sri Lanka, despite their lack of home victories against the Lankans in the past.

Notwithstanding the absence of senior players like Shakib, Tamim, and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh are determined to break their losing streak against Sri Lanka at home. Towhid Hridoy, a young talent, replaces Mushfiqur, but his lack of Test experience raises concerns. Bangladesh also included a new face, Nahid Rana, known for his pace bowling. With four fast bowlers in the squad, Tigers seem prepared for a pitch favoring pace, aiming to counter Sri Lanka's strength in spin bowling.

Bangladesh's batting lineup might struggle without the veteran guidance of Mushfiqur Rahim. His experience, particularly valuable in high-pressure situations like those seen in the ODI series win, is a significant absence. Towhid Hridoy, while showing promise in white-ball cricket, lacks the seasoned approach needed for Test matches. 

It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the demands of the longer format. Tigers’ selection of four fast bowlers suggests a strategy to exploit potential pace-friendliness of the Sylhet pitch. This tactic aims to neutralize Sri Lanka's advantage in spin bowling, which troubled Bangladesh on previous tours.

This Test series marks a new chapter for Bangladesh under captain Shanto. The young team faces a significant challenge against Sri Lanka, but their recent home success and a strategic bowling approach offer a glimmer of hope. The upcoming match will be a crucial test of their capabilities and a glimpse into the future of Bangladesh Test cricket. 

This series presents a vital test for Bangladesh's young squad. Can they overcome the absence of key players and capitalize on their home advantage? The upcoming match will be a clear indicator of their progress in the longer format.