Tigers seek redemption in 1st Test against Sri Lanka

DHAKA – Bangladesh national cricket team sought redemption, putting behind the lean form as they take on Sri Lanka in the opening match of the two-match Test series at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy tomorrow (Wednesday).

The match starts at 10.30 AM.

The series, which is the part of ICC World Test Championship, was postponed twice last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Subsequently after their 3-0 ODI series sweep over West Indies, the Tigers lost the way and the rot began with their 2-0 whitewash at the hands of the same opponent who was depleted severely by the absence of their first choice players.

They maintained the losing trend by being swept in the ODI and T20 series in New Zealand, sparking the debate whether they have enough fuel to fight against a team in top level of cricket.

Basically the manner in which they lost all of the matches against New Zealand fueled the question. Still Tigers hoped for the best in Lankan series, largely due to their past performance in this Island.

Bangladesh had nothing to be proud of in the longer version format in which they time and again proved them extremely vulnerable. Since their elevation to this format, they so far played 121 Tests, won just 14 and lost a staggering number of 91 Tests of which 43 defeats was by innings margin. The rest of 16 Tests were drawn.

The number sometimes puts a question whether they really are capable of playing this format, considered as the elite format of cricket. But still they could hope against the hopes as the last two times, they didn’t leave the country with empty hands.

Bangladesh, so far, played 20 Test matches against Sri Lanka, won just one but lost a staggering number of 16 matches.

But if the last five matches between the two sides are taken into consideration, Bangladesh though won one, they had two credible draws alongside losing two matches. The match they won came in Lankan soil and that too in their 100th Test in 2017. Apart from West Indies and Zimbabwe, Bangladesh’s only victory outside of the country came in Lankan Island. While they beat a depleted West Indies and Zimbabwe outside of the country, the Lankan side was full strength side, so the magnitude of the victory was huge.

Most of the players in this squad, however, were part of the team when Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets in that historical match.

Recalling the match, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the all-rounder of the team, said they would take inspiration from that game in a bid to end their losing streak in International cricket.

“That was a memorable incident for us. Ahead of the match, we were confident that we will be able to do something better for us,” Mehidy said.

He also reminded that Bangladesh is a good visitor at least in Sri Lanka, a thing that also acted as an inspiration for them this time around.

“In the past when we visited Sri Lanka, we played good cricket. We played the final of the Nidahas Trophy. Even though we were close, we couldn’t lift the trophy. We drew the ODI series against Sri Lanka 1-1 before winning a Test. Considering our performance against them in the last three-four years, we can say we are standing on a good chance here. If we can show the fight and commitment like the past, I think we’ll leave the country with a better result.”

Sri Lanka’s recent performance was also not good enough as they came from West Indies with disappointing result. The Test series against West Indies ended 0-0 but the Lankan side conceded the ODI and T20 series.

They also lost the Test series at their own den at the hands of England before the West Indies series. Considering all those factors, Bangladesh sensed a chance but as Mehidy suggested they needed to show the fighting spirit to down the Lankans.

“The important thing is to show the fighting spirit, which I believe, we can show in the Test series,” he added.BSS