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ICC World Test Championship SL to field three-pronged pace attack today

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Sri Lanka Head Coach Mickey Arthur (L) with captain Dimuth Karunaratne during a practice session (AFP)

 

By Amindha de Alwis

Sri Lanka will likely go in with three fast-bowlers for the first Test against Bangladesh commencing today at Pallekele, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said on the eve of 
the match. 


Sri Lanka’s approach to home Tests has been to bank on their spin-department, with the playing XI often featuring just the solitary frontline quick. 


Karunaratne attributed the change in team composition towards the performance of his fast-bowling contingent on the recent away tours of West Indies and South Africa as well as Bangladesh’s recent record against quick bowling as opposed to spin. 


“We will probably play with three fast-bowlers since our quicks did well on our recent tours to fast bowling friendly conditions, and if we look at the Bangladesh side, they have struggled a bit against fast bowling recently,” he said.


“Their strength is their spinners and looking at our lineup we are missing Dilruwan (Perera) and Lasith Embuldeniya. We have a strong pace attack with Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando and Asitha Fernando, so we decided to back our fast-bowlers and give them a green top,” Karunaratne revealed.


The return of veteran batsman Angelo Mathews following his absence from last month’s Test series versus the West Indies due to personal reasons has presented the side with a selection conundrum. 


With Oshada Fernando and Pathum Nissanka impressing against the West Indies, Karunaratne indicated that it would be Dinesh Chandimal who would be jostling with Mathews for a place in the starting XI.


“We have not finalised the playing XI yet so there is a battle between Chandi (Chandimal) and Angelo (Mathews) since all the others did really well in the past few months. We want to see the wicket in the morning, and then we willdecide who is going to play,” he said. 


The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the hosts who have recorded one win and three losses from seven Tests matches played at the ground, but Karunaratne was of the opinion that their prior record counted for little going into the two Test matches which will both be contested at the same venue.


“We are not worrying about past results. We saw how we had a good record at Galle yet lost our last match versus England. Past records will not determine what happens in the game, it will all depend on how we play during the match,” stated Karunaratne. 


Meanwhile, the visiting Bangladeshi side will enter the series hoping for a reversal of their recent fortunes having suffered a home series defeat against a depleted West Indies side in February beforebeing clean-swept on a tour of New Zealand in March. 


Bangladesh will miss the services of talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and pace-bowler Mustafizur Rahman who were granted permission to play in the ongoing Indian Premier League. 


The visitors arrived in the island on April 12 and played just one intra-squad match as part of their build-up for the series


Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said that his side has not had the most ideal of preparation owing to Covid-19 related circumstances but are however entering the tour with an optimistic mindset.


“We didn’t have a great preparation but given the circumstances, we have prepared well. We trained for a couple of days, and then played a practice match. We will get another training session today. You always have to adjust both mentally and physically in international cricket. I think it is best to be optimistic rather than worry about it,” Mominul said.

 

Sri Lanka Squad:Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dasun Shanaka, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Roshen Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka and Praveen Jayawickrama
Bangladesh Squad:Mominul Haque (C), Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Shadman Islam, Mehidy Hassan, Abu Jayed, Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali and Shoriful Islam

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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.