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September 11, 2005
Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lankan captain, has no plans to experiment with his team against Bangladesh in their two-Test series starting at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.
Atapattu said, "I am not fond of throwing away Test caps. They are meant to be earned."
"It's true that you have got to groom younger players, but just because it's Bangladesh you don't throw away 15 Test caps," added Atapattu, who hopes to use the series to improve his team's game ahead of a packed calendar. "We respect the opponents. They are just coming up and we'll try and improve our game in these matches."
Bangladesh are hoping to overcome their 3-0 drubbing in the preceding one-day series and a struggle in other side games.
But their chances of putting up much resistance suffered a setback because of injuries to pace bowlers Mashrafe Mortaza and Tapash Baisya, who were sent home on Friday.
Dav Whatmore, the Bangladesh coach, said, "The worrying factor for me is that we couldn't fight a bit harder to get out of situations. Then there have been injuries and things like that about which you can't do much."
"We have got to do the basic things right and put up a reasonable total on the board and fight hard. We have studied the opposition and are well prepared."
The opening Test will be the first at the R. Premadasa Stadium in eight years and the home side have some happy memories of the venue. It was where Sri Lanka piled up a massive 952, a world record in Test cricket, against India in 1997.
Sanath Jayasuriya hammered 340 in that match and added 576 for the second wicket with Roshan Mahanama (225), the highest partnership for any wicket in Tests.
The second Test will be played at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium, also in Colombo.
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