Match Preview – Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka 2021, 1st Test


Big Picture

Ill-judged shots, inconsistent bowling, dropped catches, and batting collapses – one shouldn’t be surprised if such flawed performances occur in the upcoming two-match Test series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, starting Wednesday in Pallekele. However, given the unpredictability of the two teams, an odd heroic performance cannot be ruled out either.

Bangladesh come into the series, having lost their last eight international matches across formats. The wheels came off during the white-ball tour of New Zealand, but the confidence had already been shattered during their 2-0 Test series defeat against West Indies. Bangladesh were favourites at home, given their tactics were developed around spinners. But they looked like a team without a Plan B when the West Indian rookies fought back in Chattogram and Dhaka.

What will particularly hurt Bangladesh is the absence of Test allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is currently playing in the IPL. On paper, Sri Lanka hold the edge as Bangladesh will miss the balance Shakib brings to their playing XI. Without him, the visitors will rely heavily on Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, and Mushfiqur Rahim .