We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Going by the recent history at the Zahur Ahmed Choudhury Stadium in Chattogram, run-making shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the first few days. That said, there will be enough assistance for the spinners.
Rain is forecast for all five days. If there is a constant downpour, a result will be hard to achieve. On the fantasy cricket front too, there could be an impact.
Shakib Al Hasan might have recovered from the Covid-19 virus, but his availability remains in doubt for this clash.
Probable XI for Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Yasir Ali, Mominul Haque (c), Najmul Hossain Shanto, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Oshada Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lasith Embuldeniya, Ramesh Mendis, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando
Given how quickly the fast bowlers can become redundant on slow wickets, Lasith Embuldeniya will have to play a big role for Sri Lanka. He has bagged 21 wickets in his last four Tests.
The potential absence of Shakib Al Hasan would mean that Taijul Islam will have to lead the spin attack for Bangladesh. In his last 5 Tests at Chattogram, he has taken 29 wickets. His recent run with the ball against South Africa could make things tricky for Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh will know the importance of dismissing Dimuth Karunaratne early. In 10 Tests against them, the opener has added 834 runs at 49.05, including the highest score of 244.
Ramesh Mendis has started off his Test career with a bang by taking 26 wickets in 4 matches at an impressive average of 21.53. In addition to his smart off-spin bowling, he has also shown potential with the bat lower down the order.
If Bangladesh are to post a big total, Tamim Iqbal will have to contribute heavily with the bat. In the two Tests he played against Sri Lanka in 2021, he scored 280 runs, including the highest score of 92.
Liton Das has been consistently amongst the runs lately. He also displayed great temperament in the recently concluded tour of South Africa. In his last home series against Pakistan, he scored 224 runs in four innings.
Although Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim could only manage 13 and 59 runs respectively on their recent tour of South Africa, they could still pose problems for Sri Lanka. In the last five Tests at home, they have accumulated 821 runs between them.
Dhananjaya de Silva has the potential to contribute with both bat and ball. In the last five Tests, he has scored 307 runs and bagged 6 wickets. He is also a smart catcher in the slips. In the end, it’s all about fantasy points!
Although Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal have contributed to Sri Lanka’s success over the years, their lean run in the recent past will be a cause of concern for the hosts. While Mathews has only two fifties in his last 10 innings, Chandimal has only one to his credit.
Both sides have met 22 times, out of which Sri Lanka have won 17 and Bangladesh 1. Furthermore, Sri Lanka are yet to lose a Test at Chattogram in four outings. On the other hand, the hosts have lost the last three Tests at the same venue and might also feel the heat without their marquee all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The tourists, though, would be keen on starting their season on a high note.
Time: 15 May, 10 AM IST