Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13 March 1, 2013

Mushfiqur confident of young players firing

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A slew of late injuries may have thinned Bangladesh's ranks by the time they landed in Sri Lanka for their month-long tour, but captain Mushfiqur Rahim remained optimistic about his side's chances, and backed his young players to fire.

Bangladesh arrived in Sri Lanka without allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, whose calf surgery following a stress injury will keep him out for at least six weeks, while batsmen Shahriar Nafees and Naeem Islam, and left-arm spinner Enamul Haque jr will also miss the tour through injury. Their replacements include 21-year-old batsman Mominul Haque and 24-year-old uncapped allrounder Marshall Ayub, but it is likely to be the more established youngsters in the squad who will be called upon to bear more responsibility in the absence of several key seniors.

Bangladesh won their last ODI series against West Indies 3-2 in November, with instrumental contributions for 20-year-old batsman Anamul Haque and 21-year-old offspinner Sohag Gazi, and Mushfiqur hoped his players would ride the momentum from that series into the Sri Lanka tour.

"We had a couple of injuries in the last series against West Indies, and Shakib was not part of the ODI series - but we still won that series. The couple of young guys who came into the side in his place performed really well. We'll miss him, but it's a chance for the younger guys to prove they can do well abroad as well as at home."

Bangladesh last met Sri Lanka in an Asia Cup match in Dhaka, when the hosts defeated Sri Lanka by five wickets to earn a place in the tournament final. They had also beaten India earlier in the tournament, and their ODI record in 2012, when they won more matches than they lost against top-eight opposition, suggests they are an improving side.

"There is no secret to our success," Mushfiqur said. "The boys have really been working hard for the last one or two years. Someone needed to put their hands up and do the basics in the middle, and that's what we did in the recent series against West Indies and also in the Asia Cup. The youngsters have come good and are performing really well, so hopefully they will continue in the same way."

The Sri Lanka tour begins with Tests however, where Bangladesh have been less impressive. Bangladesh achieved a slim first-innings lead in the first Test against West Indies in November, but could not sustain those standards throughout the Test, as they faltered in the final innings in pursuit of 245. There were encouraging periods in the second Test as well, most notably a maiden ton to debutant Abul Hasan from No. 10, but they were ultimately walloped by 10 wickets.

"In the Test match we have to play each session very well and keep doing that over and over. In the last series against West Indies we did really well, but we couldn't finish well in both the Tests. The young players are coming good, so if they put their hands up and perform, we will have a competitive Test series. "

Bangladesh travel to Matara on Friday, to prepare for a three-day warm-up match against a Sri Lanka emerging side, which begins on Sunday. The first Test starts in Galle on March 8. In addition to two Tests, Bangladesh play three ODIs and a Twenty20.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 2, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Hope this will be a competitive series.. The young guns need to perform for bd, especially anamul and marshal ayub. It's going to be hard to take all the 20 wickets without shakib ! Its really bad to see many Srilankan fans underestimating bd.. We are an improved side. Hopefully we can beat them. Best of luck to both teams! :)

  • on March 3, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    BCB should not have allowed Sakib to play BPL final and should not let him play coming IPL. Players should be more careful about their injuries & more committed to their national side....To Srilankan and Bangladeshi Cricketers, please don't run after money only, play for ur countries glory, u people have chance to serve ur country in international level & very few people get this chance. Please realize this..

  • on March 3, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Me also . Hope all of u also confident about this tour..

  • matchfixerpkn on March 2, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    bangladesh to begin tour with confidence....they should play good cricket....srilankan is not stong as their fans claim..in recent toiur to austrlaia they wer humilaiated 0-3 also they wer defeated in home by newzealand in test and in one day by inidna 6-1...so naturally with all those recent record o bangla and srilanka ..bangladesh have little edge.. even if bangladehs loses .s.till not a big deal..remember ...even after getting test stuatus to srilnaka for over 30 years still not won single test in either australia or india..

  • Rafelgibt on March 2, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    @Safir Zawad on (March 2, 2013, 6:10 GMT) brother are you serious about your comments?I would like to differ with your views.As a professional cricketer(who represents the country) money is an essential part of a players life but that doesn't mean its the only dream of a player.Shakib and rest of the regular players are the luckiest guys of our country that they are representing our nation of 16 crore.Isn't that a prestigious or a privileged matter?You and i didnt get the chance to do so but still we are earning something to live our lives compare to those players simply nothing.So, in comparison to playing for your own country the matter of MONEY is simply nothing to be mentioned.

  • Galle.Fort on March 2, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I also believe BD is playing well now. Bt still they don't playing against Sri Lanka as well as they do against other countries. Sri Lanka beaten by BD only three times in the history. My point is they haven't consistent against SL. Sri Lanka really think about the test series seriously. May be SL will use new guys to the limited cricket against BD. It is not because of BD is weak. SL looking forward to the next WC. Plenty of young players performing well in SL domestic series. I believe few new players will select to ODIs. There for BD got a chance beat SL. But that not going to be easy tusk. ya, that's true BD beat WI recently. But this is SL. OK, Tigers make your weapons ready lions are waiting for a war.

  • on March 2, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    I fully agree with Omar almamun... he is a cricket pondit and has vast knowledge on BD cricket,,Salute

  • Third_Gear on March 2, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    BD will take the IDO & T20 series convincingly and the test series gonna be 1-1 draw.

  • jamil_ctg on March 2, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    @Shihan12... Agreed with u. i blv comments should not hurt anyone. In fact While SL plays against other country other than BD, we also support SL. We blv BD will come to world cricket like SL & will dominate oneday.

  • on March 2, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    SL is the world champion team.They had the cricket legends who dominate the cricket world year after years.On the other hand we Bangladeshis are heading to a great future but SL would be our icon.We cant misjudge jayasuriya,de silva,muralitharan.Whole cricket history defy them and condemned them.So stay lets have a look to the test,one day and t20 betn BD and SL.We want good cricket where we can find ourselves competent and efficient as well.

  • on March 2, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Hope this will be a competitive series.. The young guns need to perform for bd, especially anamul and marshal ayub. It's going to be hard to take all the 20 wickets without shakib ! Its really bad to see many Srilankan fans underestimating bd.. We are an improved side. Hopefully we can beat them. Best of luck to both teams! :)

  • on March 3, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    BCB should not have allowed Sakib to play BPL final and should not let him play coming IPL. Players should be more careful about their injuries & more committed to their national side....To Srilankan and Bangladeshi Cricketers, please don't run after money only, play for ur countries glory, u people have chance to serve ur country in international level & very few people get this chance. Please realize this..

  • on March 3, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Me also . Hope all of u also confident about this tour..

  • matchfixerpkn on March 2, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    bangladesh to begin tour with confidence....they should play good cricket....srilankan is not stong as their fans claim..in recent toiur to austrlaia they wer humilaiated 0-3 also they wer defeated in home by newzealand in test and in one day by inidna 6-1...so naturally with all those recent record o bangla and srilanka ..bangladesh have little edge.. even if bangladehs loses .s.till not a big deal..remember ...even after getting test stuatus to srilnaka for over 30 years still not won single test in either australia or india..

  • Rafelgibt on March 2, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    @Safir Zawad on (March 2, 2013, 6:10 GMT) brother are you serious about your comments?I would like to differ with your views.As a professional cricketer(who represents the country) money is an essential part of a players life but that doesn't mean its the only dream of a player.Shakib and rest of the regular players are the luckiest guys of our country that they are representing our nation of 16 crore.Isn't that a prestigious or a privileged matter?You and i didnt get the chance to do so but still we are earning something to live our lives compare to those players simply nothing.So, in comparison to playing for your own country the matter of MONEY is simply nothing to be mentioned.

  • Galle.Fort on March 2, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I also believe BD is playing well now. Bt still they don't playing against Sri Lanka as well as they do against other countries. Sri Lanka beaten by BD only three times in the history. My point is they haven't consistent against SL. Sri Lanka really think about the test series seriously. May be SL will use new guys to the limited cricket against BD. It is not because of BD is weak. SL looking forward to the next WC. Plenty of young players performing well in SL domestic series. I believe few new players will select to ODIs. There for BD got a chance beat SL. But that not going to be easy tusk. ya, that's true BD beat WI recently. But this is SL. OK, Tigers make your weapons ready lions are waiting for a war.

  • on March 2, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    I fully agree with Omar almamun... he is a cricket pondit and has vast knowledge on BD cricket,,Salute

  • Third_Gear on March 2, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    BD will take the IDO & T20 series convincingly and the test series gonna be 1-1 draw.

  • jamil_ctg on March 2, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    @Shihan12... Agreed with u. i blv comments should not hurt anyone. In fact While SL plays against other country other than BD, we also support SL. We blv BD will come to world cricket like SL & will dominate oneday.

  • on March 2, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    SL is the world champion team.They had the cricket legends who dominate the cricket world year after years.On the other hand we Bangladeshis are heading to a great future but SL would be our icon.We cant misjudge jayasuriya,de silva,muralitharan.Whole cricket history defy them and condemned them.So stay lets have a look to the test,one day and t20 betn BD and SL.We want good cricket where we can find ourselves competent and efficient as well.

  • on March 2, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @Omar Almamun : Shakib earned over 200k's from the BPL...........u cant expect a player to miss out on such an oppurtunity for the national team.........after a players playing career ends, all that is left is money...so money matters....many other players also got injured as well from the BPL......all professional cricketers have to think about money, because they have families whom they have to feed...or dreams outside cricket they have to fulfil!

  • Quddus-Mamu on March 2, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    I'm totally agreed with Omar Almamun. Shakib cares BPL/IPL more than he cares about his country. He didn't play against Zimbabwe last year because he was too tired after playing IPL. I think, he should realize country first then everything else.

  • on March 2, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    Well, obviously i am supporting Bangladesh, but no point in under estimating Sri Lanka. I am hoping for the best, but I am also ready to accept the worst, and I will still be with the team. I know people are very positive about this tour, but I know that it is never going to be easy for us. I think that not only the younsters, the experienced guys like mushfiq, riyad and Nasir needs to step up and take responsiblity.

  • BcJain on March 2, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    I know banglades will loose badly. They dont play as good as they speak

  • on March 2, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    I found Shakib bit selfish here..he didn't play WI ODI series because of injury, but played BPL with injury..now he scheduled his operation during SL series so that he can play IPL!!. Instead of playing BPL with injury he could have done his operation..

  • shihan12 on March 2, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    I am from Sri Lanka..but still I love the way BD playing the game, they are really passion about the game ..I dont want to insult any one..but the way BD fans commenting it hurt as a Sri Lankan..coz I felt there is some cruel comments against SL team..it can destroy BD image on Sri Lankan hearts..we are friends and fans..best team will win..

  • on March 1, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    Bangladesh have a great chance to win in ODIs and T20 series.But i don't see it happening in test series without shakib. In test cricket u need experienced players to play consistent and sensible cricket,we lack it at the moment in both departments.We lack a high skilled pace bowler,Shahadat and Rubel are always trying to bowl short pitched bowls and after a small burst of spells they tend to feel frustrated and stamina level falls to a great extent.That can be seen in their body language.They need to be more actve.Also concerned about top order which lacks experience.If we can manage to draw test series that would be a fantastic achievement.My IX would be 1 Tamim 2 Anamul 3 Ashraful 4 Marshall 5 Musfiq 6 Mahamudullah 7 Nasir 8 Gazi 9 Abul 10 Sunny 11 Rubel.

  • on March 1, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    i want those team win ,who played best ,its could be BANGLADESH OR SL . best of luck for bangladesh . i am really surprised about some ppl who using minnows word , NO ONE are minnows in world cricket .

  • MAN_AT_WORK on March 1, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    No East no West Srilanka is the best but obviously after Bangladesh! we love SL cricket team we just love to see good cricket..

  • on March 1, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    i am obviously supporting Bangladesh....but that does not mean i will insult sri-lanka.There is no other team that becomes more happy than them with our success.Because they used to be like us.Now they are world class team.So,cool down bd fans....this is embarrassing. Sri-Lanka supports us. plz be neutral.We are better than this,with our behavior I mean.And sorry to all Sri-lankan fans for opposing u.

  • on March 1, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    Just waiting for some good cricket!

  • Captainman on March 1, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    I'm not saying BD will win or something but just for the sake of argument they did win at least 1 series, it's not an upset and either Bangladesh have improved or Sri Lanka are also minnows hopefully we will find out very soon. Sri Lanka fans know their team have to win otherwise everyone will laugh and comments will be a hit that you lost to a minnow yet again.

  • on March 1, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    I am a fan of both teams .. they both have fighting history of getting into cricket. One SL has proven stick around cricket as roaring lions. They come from underdeveloped country like BD and they have challenged big guns and still do .. BD is on its way in so lets congrat them both!

  • Porky_PigTheToon on March 1, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    @ Pasan Hettiarachchi

    May be - that's your perception. I know even you support every team that plays Ind.

    Anyway, yes indeed NEUTRAL FANS want to see BD perform more than SL as whenever a more strong team plays less strong, most of the people support latter. So obviously BD will have more support.

    And you will see it, if SL wins not many will congratulate coz that is what most of the people are expecting but if somehow BD beats SL (that too in a test match/ series), then you will see many people from different nations congratulating BD. I hope, you get my point.

    And kindly go through Cricinfo's FB page - post regarding BD-SL match, you will see yourself how many SL fans are underestimating BD and calling them Minnow.

  • The_Ashes on March 1, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    Ashraful should consider himself lucky that he had got probably his one last chance to be in the national colours again and he himself knows it so its do or die for him and wish him all the luck. Still only 28 years old would you believe after all these years. His one and only chance to turn his career for once around but I doubt it.

    As for this series, its very hard to see Bangladesh winning even 1 test but hope I'm wrong.

  • on March 1, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    bangladesh will win the odi series for sure insha allah

  • warneneverchuck on March 1, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    Both r minnows and I can't tell who will win series its a tough call

  • on March 1, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    @ counterstrike 1.6, most of the INDIAN fans want BD to thrash SL not NEUTRAL fans.lol. @ Warm_Coffee, first stop pretending like a Sri Lankan. We Sri Lankans never told BD is a minnow like some Indians did. Its funny when you people call yourselves are minnows. We Sri Lankans are always there with our team, during both win & loss. It doesn't matter whether that loss is to Australia or Bangladesh. If you really deserved to win then no problem. Finally good luck to Bangladesh, because they will really need it this time around.

  • TheRisingTeam on March 1, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Nasir Hossain is enough to destroy Sri Lanka.

  • on March 1, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    I hope the fans will enjoy cricket between these two sides and let the cricket win here. Please do not throw 'cheap' and 'dirty' words around. There were some pundits predicted a humiliating whitewash by WI before the series last November, but very few of those were found to show their face during and after the series. However, SL is going to be much much tougher opponent than WI. We expect a good show in the tests from BD and am personally quite unable to make any prediction about the ODIs. Anything could happen... ;-) Cheers.

  • Warm_Coffee on March 1, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Sri Lanka has everything to lose, nobody likes losing to minnows.

  • Porky_PigTheToon on March 1, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    Come on, BD.

    I can't generalize it but I'm sure most of the NEUTRAL FANS would want BD to thrash SL or at least Draw the series.

    Even a Hard Fought Draw by BD would be SL's humiliation.

    Good Luck.

  • on March 1, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    i think it will not going to be a one sided seriez... the seriez will be competitive

  • bdsmaruf on March 1, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    bd players know nothing is impossible................ they should believe they can beat sl because sl are not from other planet. viewers want to see good cricket.

  • on March 1, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    The tigers have set the sail for the Isle of Lanka with a quest they primordially fostered. They'll never disgruntle whom they represent; they'll hold the aces high; they'll never countermand and they'll never cringe. A gory Armageddon for the right to retrieve the grail of supremacy awaits. The Lions would protect the grail and their lair that incarcerates it by any means necessary and the tigers would contrive to lead the incursion. We'll get to savor the bellicosity between the predators; the aestheticism they'll emanate.When the tigers used to be cubs, they were squelched by the pageantry of titans more impregnable. But now, they've metamorphosed into alpha males! I believe the tigers, the Guardians of the Sunderbans will carouse with the grail with their paws on top of the food chain. It's my pride and certainly the pride of 160 million Bangladeshis that invigorate us....

  • Htc-Android on March 1, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    SL will win this series easily. Only rain can save BD.

  • rocket_rocket on March 1, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    SL is far superior test side than bangladesh...without shakib b'desh looks weaker than ever...a whitewash for bangla is on the cards.....

  • on March 1, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    its our best chance to win SL so please perform well and win the series , go ahead tiger

  • on March 1, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    actually you guys takes things very wrong here.for a new players only addition will be tharindu kaushal and dont understimate him because he already fetch 36 wickets in 9 innings.rest will be same. here is the playing eleven. if you think you understimate SL thats the worst thing bangaladesh ever do 1. dilshan 2.dimuth 3.sangakkara 4.samaraweera 5.angelo 6.chandimal 7.kulasekara 8.eranga 9.kaushal 10.herath and according to the pitch 11 thirimanna/jeewan/Kithuruwan

  • on March 1, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    best of luck Bengal tiger

  • rehan2762 on March 1, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    i hope BD will show their talent in this tour....SL is going to face a difficult time against BD.... best of luck BD,,,, a fan from pakistan

  • ahad_hossain on March 1, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Go bangladesh...i hope this time BD can be win from SL in test....good luck..

  • lukecannon on March 1, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    The result is a whitewash in all formats. Try Zimbabwe BAN. There's no glory for you in this island.

  • class9ryan on March 1, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Bangladesh has developed a good side in the recent years and they are capable of clinching a ODI series win here. They have a long way 2 go in Tests and hope that Rahim, Shakib and Tamim Iqbal stay in the Bangla unit for some more time to make sure this sides gets into top 8 of the world rankings.

  • on March 1, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    watch out the battle on the field... anything is possible in cricket...

  • Master_Mihil on March 1, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    if sanga fires we have a better chance. SL is going to put a lot of new players anyway. So this might be an even contest.. I hope bangla do some damage to us. Because we have ill-treated tests, post poning SA tour of SL as well. This series could be an eye opener for us!!

  • tanstell87 on March 1, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    all the best to both teams may the best team win...from India.

  • on March 1, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Good wishes to both the sides. Waiting to see some good competetive cricket. The results could go either way as no one is comprehensively favorite here. SL has a better chance here but BD will also give a though show. Best of luck all the SL fans from a BD fan.

  • on March 1, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    All the best . Love you Bangladesh . Hope they have a great time in Srilanka ..........

  • on March 1, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    definitely we will win but if we want in test match everyone have to perform not only one or two

  • on March 1, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    definitely we will win but if we want in test match everyone have to perform not only one or two

  • on March 1, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    All the best . Love you Bangladesh . Hope they have a great time in Srilanka ..........

  • on March 1, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Good wishes to both the sides. Waiting to see some good competetive cricket. The results could go either way as no one is comprehensively favorite here. SL has a better chance here but BD will also give a though show. Best of luck all the SL fans from a BD fan.

  • tanstell87 on March 1, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    all the best to both teams may the best team win...from India.

  • Master_Mihil on March 1, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    if sanga fires we have a better chance. SL is going to put a lot of new players anyway. So this might be an even contest.. I hope bangla do some damage to us. Because we have ill-treated tests, post poning SA tour of SL as well. This series could be an eye opener for us!!

  • on March 1, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    watch out the battle on the field... anything is possible in cricket...

  • class9ryan on March 1, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    Bangladesh has developed a good side in the recent years and they are capable of clinching a ODI series win here. They have a long way 2 go in Tests and hope that Rahim, Shakib and Tamim Iqbal stay in the Bangla unit for some more time to make sure this sides gets into top 8 of the world rankings.

  • lukecannon on March 1, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    The result is a whitewash in all formats. Try Zimbabwe BAN. There's no glory for you in this island.

  • ahad_hossain on March 1, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    Go bangladesh...i hope this time BD can be win from SL in test....good luck..

  • rehan2762 on March 1, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    i hope BD will show their talent in this tour....SL is going to face a difficult time against BD.... best of luck BD,,,, a fan from pakistan