Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes it will be a challenging series for the batsmen of both the teams as Bangladesh and the Lankans have quality spinners in their respective ranks.
Bangladesh have included six spinners in their Test squad including the likes of the veteran Abdur Razzak, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Sanjamul Islam, Tanbir Hayder, Nayeem Hasan and Taijul Islam. Sri Lanka also have quality spinners in their squad including the experienced Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera. As the pitch is expected to be a turning deck, it will be a battle of the spinners in the first of two Test matches.
“We know what is going to happen. Bangladesh have been playing good cricket here lately. It is going to be a challenge for batters of both teams. We are trying to play to our strength. Sri Lanka have done well in the past in Bangladesh. We haven’t played a Test here in the last four years. Our record in Bangladesh is very good,” Hathurusingha said during the pre-Test press conference in the port city’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium Tuesday.
The Tigers have tasted success in the last couple of years playing on spinning tracks at home and have beaten teams like England and Australia in Tests under the stewardship of Hathurusingha. The first Test in Chittagong could well turn out to be another turning deck and Hathurusingha admitted he is not surprised with the home team’s strategy.
“I am not surprised. They have been successful with spin recently. So they are probably sticking to their strength. But we are up to the challenge,” said the 49-year old.
“I know how Bangladesh have been playing lately. Their mentality. I know they are a very confident side at home. I can share a bit about the pitches here. There were two pitches prepared. We know they will probably decide [Tuesday],” he added.
Sri Lanka won the tri-nation ODI series recently and also played well in the Test series against India a few months ago. The Lankan head coach believes they are more settled now as a team in the longest format of the game but also said they are starting from zero en route to building a strong Test side.
“We are all starting from zero. Whoever starts well will have a bit of psychological advantage. I think both teams have played decent cricket lately. Our Test team is a bit more settled than ODI team. The players know their role,” he concluded.