SL v BAN, 1st Test Preview: Bangladesh looks to improve away record after return of Mustafizur Rahman

Mustafizur Rahman in Test Cricket
Mustafizur Rahman. (Photo Source: AFP)

With less than 24 hours to go for the opening Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to commence, the visitors will be upbeat going into the series as they will be bolstered by the return of cutter-specialist Mustafizur Rahman. The young 21-year-old sensation last played a Test match during his debut series against South Africa. The youngster underwent a surgery last year after sustaining an injury during his stint for Sussex.

He was selected for the series against New Zealand and played the limited over matches. Before the start of the Test series, he was down with a hamstring injury and missed the series along with the one of Test against India. Bangladesh has played some terrific brand of cricket in the longest format off late but the results haven’t been in their favour.


After winning their maiden test against England during the 2 match series at home they were defeated by New Zealand and India despite showing some impressive performances. Shakib-al-Hasan scored a brilliant double century in the opening Test against New Zealand and despite scoring 595, the visitors lost the Test match. So consistency will be a big concern for them.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, won their last series at home against Australia 3-0 in August last year. In their last Test series against the mighty Proteas, they were at the receiving end as they were whitewashed 3-0. The Lankans under the captaincy of Rangana Herath will look to seal the series against a relatively unfancied Bangladesh.

Team News


The visitors will be bolstered by the return of Mustafizur Rahman who will be playing his first Test after the debut series against South Africa in 2015. Despite speculation surrounding Mushfiqur Rahim’s captaincy getting stripped off, he will lead the side from tomorrow. Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar will be the regular openers with Mominul Haque and Shakib-al-Hasan in the middle order.

Mahmudullah Riad, Sabbir Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain quite expectedly retained their places. Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed might be handed over the red cherry with Kamrul Islam Rabbi coming in as the first change. Taijul Islam, Mehedi Hasan and Shakib will take care of the spin department.

Predicted XI

Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque, Shakib-al-Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Sabbir Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka will miss the services of their regular captain Angelo Mathews after the all-rounder returned home after sustaining a hamstring injury during the ODI series in South Africa. Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath will lead the hosts in his absence. He will surely look to put behind the 3-0 battering Sri Lanka received at the hands of South Africa and will look to make full use of the home conditions.

Niroshan Dickwella received a call up for the Test squad after impressive performances in the limited overs circuit. Dimuth Karunaratne keeps his plays as the other opener. The middle order has the likes of Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva and Asela Gunaratne. Dinesh Chandimal who is having a horrendous time with the bat will take care of the wicket keeping duties. Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath and chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan will be 3 spinners in the squad. Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara will look after the fast bowling duties.

Predicted XI

Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath


29- This match will be 29th Test as captain for M Rahim. He is yet to field in with the same XI in consecutive Tests.

6- Rangana Herath needs 6 more wickets to become the highest wicket-taker among left-arm spinners. He is currently with 357 wickets. Highest is Vettori with 362.