Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Chittagong February 3, 2014

Sri Lanka guard against travel weariness


Match facts

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Start time 0930 local (0330 GMT)

Big Picture

Having received their fourth-worst clobbering in Mirpur, Bangladesh need to find their resolve to make the Chittagong Test more of a contest. Peppered by bouncers in the first Test, the Bangladesh batsmen appeared more interested in providing short-lived entertainment than working through the tough periods. The end result was the kind of performance that diminished the advances Bangladesh have made in Test cricket.

Though the batting was their most conspicuous failure, Bangladesh will also want to eliminate the fielding mistakes that squandered key chances in Mirpur. Their bowling was not as toothless as Sri Lanka's total of 730 for 6 suggests, but they too could do with a boost in spirit.

Two injuries to major Sri Lanka players will make Bangladesh's task easier in the second Test, however. Rangana Herath's problematic knee has flared up and Shaminda Eranga has a thigh strain after a month of heavy work, ruling both out of the Test.*

Perhaps in light of their workload over the past month (they played 18 Test-match days in January), Sri Lanka have had an unusually casual lead-in to the second Test. They trained at a low intensity on both days before the Test, perhaps also concerned that sore bodies could lead to more injury.

Some players may also be beginning to experience tour fatigue. Sri Lanka were in the UAE since the first week of December, and had fewer than 48 hours at home before they left for Bangladesh. With the limited-overs matches and Asia Cup also on the horizon, there is no end in sight. Their challenge will be to stay motivated and in control of their cricket. There have been four series since 2010 where Sri Lanka have taken a 1-0 lead, then finished with a series-leveling loss, and while Bangladesh will have to improve substantially to push the visitors, Sri Lanka should be wary of allowing their effort to subside.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

Bangladesh: LDDWL
Sri Lanka: WLWDW

In the spotlight

Dilruwan Perera's best contribution on debut had been his 95 from No. 8, but in Mirpur he showcased an appetite for wickets as well, as he extracted more turn than any other bowler. Sri Lanka require a reliable bowling allrounder to balance their side, and having tasted Test success, Perera will hope to sustain it. A bagful in Hearath's absence will go some way to ensuring he is picked for the England tour in June.

Tamim Iqbal made 6 and 11 in the first Test, and there is pressure on him to score in this game. He doesn't have three cheap innings on the trot on too many occasions, and will be expected to make a bigger contribution.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is a typical Chittagong wicket - slow and flat. There will be far less bounce on offer for the faster bowlers, and runs will be available readily. The outfield is a little hard because there was a water shortage for three weeks last month, which affected the ground area. The grass has re-grown but the sandy base has remained.

Teams news

Marshall Ayub is ruled out with a wrist injury and has been replaced by Imrul Kayes. The other major news is the dropping of Robiul Islam, which means that Rubel Hossain, who averages 81.23 in 19 Tests, has been retained. These were confirmed when chief selector Faruque Ahmed announced the 12-man team, which means that either of Abdur Razzak or Mahmudullah will make the playing XI.

Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Imrul Kayes, 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Mahmudullah/Abdur Razzak, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

Nuwan Pradeep and Ajantha Mendis are the likeliest replacements for Eranga and Herath. Sri Lanka will almost certainly stay with the same side elsewhere.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Kithuruwan Vithanage, 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Ajantha Mendis, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

Stats and trivia

  • There have been five centuries at this ground by Bangladesh batsmen, two of which were scored in the last Test here in October.
  • Kumar Sangakkara has passed 50 in his last five innings against Bangladesh
  • Angelo Mathews averages 99.60 in his last four Tests


"Senior players like me, Tamim and Shakib have to take up the responsibilty to get the runs."
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim

"We're not very worried if Eranga and Herath can't play tomorrow. We have Nuwan Pradeep who took a lot of wickets in the one Test that he played, in Dubai, so we have some bench strength."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews

* February 3 12.00pm GMT This story was updated after it was confirmed that Herath and Eranga will miss the Test

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 4, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    Time for sanga & Chandi to score more runs. hope Sanga will target to hit century. and Kaushal Silava, mahela & Mathews also will shine.

  • Zakir on February 3, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    I find it difficult to understand why can't our pace bowlers cannot workout the weakness of the individual batters, and try to stick to that?... We all know that BD speed and accuracy is lacking in the fast bowling....

  • Amir on February 3, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    I agree with most of the opinion here that Rubel should be given a few years off. Either Robiul or Reza should be groomed. We need to focus on grooming 30 fast bowlers over the next couple of years with special camps. Wasim Akram has done a good job in the past with some of our bowlers. With planning, focus and dedication, I am sure 2-4 good fast bowlers can emerge to lead BD over the next few years. Go Tigers!

  • Yasiru on February 3, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    No matter who is selected or not in SL team we are winning this game mate..BD fans please donot keep hopes so high coz when they are fallen it gives u a huge pain...Simply even DOn Bradmon played for BD in next test SL going to win t...

  • Dummy on February 3, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Bangladesh should try a leg spinner instead of Razzak or Mahmudullah since Shakib and Gazi are already playing. Rubel should be dropped from the test 11 and given atleast 2years first class cricket before he used again. His 1st class statistics are as dismal as his test stats with a wicket every 120plus balls. Robiul should be given more opportunity since his test record is far better ( has taken more wickets than Rubel playing half the number of matches). However Robiul looks fat. He should train harder to lose that potbelly and manboobs he has grown. Al-Amin should be properly fed with protein so that he doesn't break down. Rubel is ok for ODI cricket but not test cricket. BCB should take lessons from SLC on how to build up medium pacers and how to groom them. Talent available in Bangladesh should be twice or thrice the numbers in Sri Lanka. Bangladesh also needs a wicket keeper who can take catches and is above average height. Mushfiq may play as a batsman.

  • chami on February 3, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Sanga going for double in this ... i think he is so upset he could not make a big score in last 4 matches

  • maruf on February 3, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    I don't see a reason why they need to include Mr. Rubel. He isn't Test cricket standard. Gazi bhai can open the bowling with AlAmin who impressed with bat and ball. Selectors understand the logic here.

  • maruf on February 3, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    I have a question to team management why they take two pace bowler, they do really nothing for the team. take one pace allrounder forhad reza or zia in stead of one pace bowler. at least reza or zia or other pace allrounder can do something by bat. please team management think it, when bd play in Bangladesh.

  • Prashan on February 3, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    As a devout Lankan fan, I have this to say. Bangladesh are my 2nd favorite team after Sri Lanka. I full heartedly adore Bangladesh because our ancestor roots go towards Bangladesh. I was sad to see Bangladesh lose the 1st test by a large margin. But now, more hope is there for BD with Herath and Eranga missing. If Bangladesh wins the toss, bat first and target a 400 plus total as that will put pressure on our batting. Important to remember that Sanga and Mahela are not the only ones as our batting has Angelo, Kithruwan and Kaushal who are Ll good. But scoreboard pressure can work in a test match but not series. Everyone knows that BD are far better than what we saw last week so I am sure they will fight hard and either side may win narrowly.

    BD bowling may not cause much problems for the Sri Lankans but the BD batting can tackle our bowling attack by going for singles often and not big hits which they tried too much last week. Good luck to both teams.

  • Hasib on February 3, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    Let's replace our main bowler, Robiul Islam, with a useless bowler with 81.23 average because that just makes a lot of sense. We have some serious cricket brains in the BCB!