Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI Preview: New-look Sri Lanka take on Tigers as Shakib returns
Sri Lanka have generally had the wood over Bangladesh, but The Tigers always pose a tough challenge at home.
Changes in both squads
Both teams have made some changes to their squad. Sri Lanka in particular have gone for a proper shake up and have axed Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal.
Kusal Perera has been named the new Sri Lankan ODI captain. Kusal Mendis has been recalled and made vice-captain for the Bangladesh ODIs. Avishka Fernando was also set to be part of the squad but failed a fitness test.
Shakib Al Hasan returns to the Bangladesh ODI side after missing out due to a thigh injury and IPL commitments. Najmul Hossain Shanto has been dropped from the Bangladesh squad for the first two ODIs. Shakib will take Shanto's spot at number 3.
Al Amin Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Rubel Hossain and Nasum Ahmed, who were part of the New Zealand tour, also don't find a place in the squad. Mohammad Naim, Taijul Islam, Shohidul Islam, Aminul Islam Biplob are on standby as contingency for COVID-19.
Head to head
Sri Lanka recently faced Bangladesh a couple of weeks ago in a two match test series in Pallekele. The home side won the 2 match series 1-0 after registering a 209 run victory in the second test match. However, with the change of venue and format, that will count for little.
Sri Lanka last played ODI cricket in West Indies where they lost by 3-0, suffering defeats by big margins of 8 wickets, 5 wickets and 5 wickets. Bangladesh had similar returns in their last ODI series which they played against New Zealand in New Zealand, where the team lost 3-0 by massive margins of 8 wickets, 5 wickets and 164 runs.
Sri Lanka have the wood over Bangladesh in the overall head to head record. The team has won 39 out of the 48 ODIs between the two teams while Bangladesh have managed to win just 7.
In Bangladesh, the home side has won just four out of the 17 matches while Sri Lanka have won 13.
That said, the stats reflect the past glory of Sri Lanka. The team is very inexperienced at the moment, especially after the axing of some of their key players.
On the other hand, despite being winless in their last 10 matches, Bangladesh were in good rhythm when they last faced West Indies in white ball cricket at home and will try to draw confidence from that.
Shakib, Tamim and The Fizz crucial for hosts
Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das will open the batting for Bangladesh, with Shakib Al Hasan at number 3. Shakib's return will be crucial for the team and if he can reproduce the form which he struck in the 2019 World Cup, Bangladesh can go on to sweep the series.
Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim will have to take more responsibility and bat higher up the order . His wicketkeeping has also been under scrutiny but captain Tamin Iqbal has expressed his confidence in the veteran wicketkeeper batsman to continue with the gloves. Rahim will be followed by Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah and Mahedi Hasan.
Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehidy Hasan are Bangladesh's all-rounders alongside Shakib and provide balance to the side. Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman are likely to take the new ball.
Sri Lanka will expect newly-appointed captain Kusal Perera to take more responsibility. The explosive opener has talked about fearlessness being the mantra for the side. It will be interesting to see how he juggles between his attacking instinct with the bat and trying to go big.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis are Sri Lanka's other leading batsmen.
Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga will discharge all-rounder duties and assist Akila Dananjaya, Isuru Udana and Dushmantha Chameera with the ball. How Bangladesh fare against Hasaranga and Dananjaya will be crucial for the fate of the series.
Either Shiran Fernando or Chamika Karunaratne is likely to make his ODI debut.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XIs:
Bangladesh - Tamim Iqbal(c), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(wk), Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
Sri Lanka - Kusal Perera(c & wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera, Shiran Fernando/Chamika Karunaratne
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