Home / Sports / Tigers ready to repeat NZ memory in Sylhet

Tigers ready to repeat NZ memory in Sylhet

The first of the two-match Test series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is all set to commence today at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet. Both hosts and guests are confident of a good start despite injury concerns.

The match will begin at 10:00 am (BST).

Following an ODI series win by a 2-1 margin against Sri Lanka, the Tigers are confident of a solid start, though the most experienced duo Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim are not available for this game. Shakib is skipping the series due to eyesight problems, while Mushfiqur was ruled out of the game after sustaining an injury during practice. Additionally, two major red-ball pacers Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed are also not playing the series. Ebadot is undergoing a rehabilitation period after surgery, while Taskin has been given rest. Therefore, the match will be an acid test for Bangladeshs bench strength.

Either Zakir Hasan or Shadman Islam will pair with Mahmudul Hasan Joy to open the Bangladesh innings, as skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque Showrab, Liton Das and youngster Shahadat Hossain Dipu are expected to form the middle order.

SICS is prominently a spin-friendly venue and Bangladesh played with three spinners and a pacer against New Zealand here, which they sealed by four wickets. This time they are likely to go with three spinners and two pacers. Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan and Taijul Islam are the spinning options for them. If they are not going to award a Test cap to either of the uncapped Mushfik Hasan and Nahid Rana, then Shoriful Islam and Syed Khaled Ahmed will be seen as the seamers.

Sri Lanka on the other hand, are a balanced side combining experienced names like Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews alongside performers like Kusal Mendis, Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, skipper Dhananjaya de Silva, Nishan Madushka, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara and Kasun Rajitha.

Looking at the head-to-head records between these two teams, the Sri Lankans are favorites as Bangladesh have managed to win only one out of the 24 Test matches played between the two sides. Sri Lanka has won 18 times, while five encounters ended in a draw.

The Sylhet International Cricket Stadiums pitch is celebrated for its spin-friendly nature creating a substantial challenge for batters in run accumulation. Average first innings scores here are 296 and average fourth innings scores are 175. As the match progresses, the track becomes even more favorable for spin bowlers, giving an advantage to the team choosing to bat first after winning the toss.