February 26, 2017 - 5:40pm
Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim thinks his team has a strong chance to pull off a win or two in their forthcoming series against Sri Lanka in the absence of some regular tormentors in opponent camp.
The Tigers will leave Dhaka on Monday to play two Tests against the Sri Lankans– one in Galle from March 7-11 and another in the capital Colombo from March 15-19. ‘Every series is a new opportunity for us to do something good,’ Mushfq said during team’s formal press conference in Dhaka ahead of their departure on Sunday.
‘They were going miss some players, who had been part of their team for many days. Regular captain Angelo Mathews is also absent ‘They will remain under little pressure because they know Bangladesh are also playing well for a long period. Considering all these factors, I would say we have good chance,’ he said.
Bangladesh played 14 Tests against Sri Lanka so far, the highest for the side against any opponent apart from Zimbabwe. But they could manage just two draws against Sri Lanka in their previous two series. Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara scored 1816 runs in 15 Tests at 95.69 while Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan are the only three players to score more than 1,000 runs Bangladesh in Tests.
Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan claimed 89 wickets against the side in just 11 Tests to create a big difference between two teams. With all of them now retired, Mushfiq said if Bangladesh can give their best they can still eke out a win or two in Sri Lanka. ‘Everything will actually depend on how we can give our best. If we can give our best, I am sure the result will come to our favour,’ he said.
‘We could take our level a little high which is a good thing. ‘I think Test, one-day international or Twenty20 international whatever the format is people now expect us to win.
‘We have three different types of bowler in Sakib (al Hasan), Mustafiz (Mustafizur Rahman) and Miraj (Mehedi Hasan). When they bowl together it would create pressure on any opponent.
Bangladesh recent performance in Tests will also help the side,’ believed Mushfiq. ‘We are going to play three series at a stretch which will keep us ahead. It was good thing for us,’ said Mushfiq.
Bangladesh drew series against England in October at home and were competitive in their last two series in New Zealand and India over the past two months despite loss. Sri Lanka have a good record at home and beat Australia 3-0 in the last series that they hosted in August 2016. They are then scheduled to play three 50-over ODIs before facing off for two Twenty20 international matches at the tailend of the tour, which wraps up on April 6.