Cricket

Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, 1st Test: Match Preview and Key Players

Bangladesh are preparing to reach yet another landmark as they embark to the island country of Sri Lanka to play a two-match test series, the second of which will be their 100th test since becoming a full-time member of the ICC in November 2000. Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are coming from away defeats to South Africa and India respectively.

Bangladesh, who have just 3 away wins to their name would be looking to turn things around. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be keen on maintaining their awe-striking home record. Their last fixture at home was against the Aussies whom they whitewashed to register their first ever series win against the Kangaroos. 

As the two teams lock horns at the Galle Internation Stadium, we have a look at the key players from both sides whose performance will be crucial for their respective teams. 

Bangladesh

Mustafizur Rahman: The young left-arm seamer has been the most sensational bowler ever for Bangladesh. After an inspiring debut in ODIs, he had an excellent test debut as well where he picked up four wickets in his first innings against the Proteas. However, recurring injuries had forced Rahman to stay away from Test cricket. Rahman played his last test in 2015, a washed out test against South Africa and will probably look to hit the deck with his cutters and swingers to ensure his team a better performance.

Mushfiqur Rahim: The Bangladesh skipper was recently asked to give up as the team's permanent wicket-keeper after a dismal display behind the stumps against Afghanistan and India. The Bangladesh Team Manager Khaled Mahmud said that it is being hectic on Rahim to play the three roles of wicketkeeper, batsman and the skipper and it would be easier for him if he gave up one of them. Rahim had an excellent run with the bat against the Kiwis in New Zealand, where he struck a record-breaking hundred. He followed it up with a century against India at Hyderabad in the one-off test. The visitors will be hoping that their skipper continues this fine form with the bat on this tour as well.  

Sri Lanka

Ranganna Herath: Asked to lead the side in the absence of Angelo Matthews, left-arm orthodox spinner Rangana Herath is one of the oldest captains to have led a test side. He is just 12 wickets short of becoming the second Sri Lankan bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan to scalp 1000 First Class wickets. Being one of the most experienced players in the side, Herath will be under the spotlight and expected to maneuver the victorious run the Lankans have been enjoying at home.

Dinesh Chandimal: Since the retirement of Sangakkara and Jayawardene, the Lankan batting hasn't been in the best of form. Dinesh Chandimal is one the few batsmen who have performed consistently. In the warm-up match against Bangladesh, Chandimal scored 190 for the Sri Lankan Board President XI. Chandimal didn't have much to show for on the tour to South Africa and he will be under immense pressure to notch up some runs under his belt. 

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