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Bangladesh's focus now shifts to ODIs

  • Published at 10:43 pm March 24th, 2017
Bangladesh's focus now shifts to ODIs
Bangladesh are high in confidence after their win in the second and final Test match against the Lankans last week. However, it will be a different ball game for the Tigers as the home side are technically more competitive in the shorter formats, compared to Tests. Adaptation from red- to white-ball cricket therefore, will be key for Team Bangladesh. Limited-over skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza is back to full fitness after his injury layoff. Left-arm spinner Sanjamul Islam is likely to be a good option against the Lankans. Bangladesh added one more player, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, to their 16-man squad a day before the start of the ODI series. The decision to include off-spinner Miraz was taken keeping in mind that there are plenty of left-handers in the Lankan batting line-up. Miraz has played seven Tests so far but is yet to play an ODI. The youngster was preparing for the 2017 Emerging Teams Asia Cup when suddenly the Bangladesh team management decided to include him in the eleventh hour. Generally, Bangladesh play three pacers in ODIs. But If Miraz gets the nod in the playing XI then a paceman or a middle-order batsman will have to make way. Mahmudullah will be under a lot of scrutiny as the experienced batsman was axed form the Colombo Test and supposed to be sent back home. But later, he stayed back in the island nation, thanks to his inclusion in the ODI squad. The right-hander scored 71 off 68 balls in the only practice match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI. The upcoming ODI series will be extremely crucial for him to hold onto his place in the starting XI. In contrast, the Lankans are under a little bit of pressure after their Colombo Test loss. Their press claimed it the “darkest day in the history Sri Lanka”. So they will be desperate to bounce back in the ODIs. Regular captain Angelo Mathews is yet to attain match fitness so opening batsman Upul Tharanga has been named as makeshift skipper. Sri Lanka were dealt a heavy blow just before the start of the ODI series as wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Prerea pulled his hamstring while playing against Bangladesh in the warm-up game. The attacking batsman will miss the first and probably the second ODI as well, confirmed Sri Lanka team manager Asanka Gurusinha. Milinda Siriwardana will replace Kusal in the first two ODIs. Like Kusal, stumper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella will also miss the first ODI, due to his suspension imposed by the ICC. He was suspended for two limited-over matches in February, 2017. Dew could be a factor in Dambulla as the first two matches of the series will be day-night encounters. So the team that win the toss will be tempted to field first to avoid the dew factor later in the evening. Bangladesh have played thrice in Dambulla and lost all three. The last time the Tigers played here was in 2010 and they will not have fond memories of that game. In that match, the visiting side conceded the highest team total – 385 - in the history of the ground. Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Shakib al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe bin Mortaza (C), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Subashish Roy, Sanjamul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Nurul Hasan and Mehedi Hasan Miraz Sri Lanka Upul Tharanga (C), Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Danushka Gunathilaka, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vikum Sanjaya, Thisara Perera, Sachith Pathirana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan and Milinda Siriwardana
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