Bangladesh in the form of their lives, especially in conditions at home are clear favorites to beat Sri Lanka but writing Sri Lanka off is never an option as they have the potential to beat any opponent in the world. However, Sri Lanka will play without in form batsman Kusal Janith Perera and skipper Angelo Mathews. KJP suffered a side strain during his innings of 49 in Sri Lanka’s match against Zimbabwe on Sunday. Moreover Angelo Mathews’ hamstring problem resurfaced in the game against Bangladesh and he will miss the rest of the series, the tests as well.
As a replacement, the selectors recalled top order batman Dhananjaya De Silva who had a fantastic Test series against India late last year.
In Perera’s absence, Danushka Gunathilaka is likely to open the innings with Upul Tharanga. Sri Lanka may even consider promoting Niroshan Dickwella to the top as he’s been poor down the order.
How Sri Lanka should line up against Bangladesh?
Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep.
Both Lakmal and Pradeep were good against Zimbabwe, so Sri Lanka may opt to go with the same bowling combination instead of introducing new comer Shehan Madushanka. The 22 year old is yet to make his debut for Sri Lanka.
How does the net run rate affect Sri Lanka?
After Zimbabwe’s humiliating loss to Bangladesh, they were pushed to the bottom of the table but only a narrow gap separates them from Sri Lanka. Therefore, it’s vital for Sri Lanka to win the game against Bangladesh and if they are to lose, it’s a must to lose by a very narrow margin.
A bonus point win for Bangladesh may kick Sri Lanka out of the all-important finals of the tri series.
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