The Bangladesh team, along with coach and support staff, gather in a huddle for a pep talk during practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday, ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka starting here tomorrow. PHOTO: STAR
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has identified Bangladesh's top order as one of their main obstacles in the upcoming Test series, scheduled to begin tomorrow.
In his first interaction with the media yesterday at Mirpur, the 26-year-old said that a number of Bangladesh's top-order batsmen are game-changers.
“When it comes to batting, they (Bangladesh) have got six or seven good batters. We are looking at all of them because all of them have the ability to change the game,” said Mathews.
With three 500-plus scores in the last four Test series, Bangladesh's batting has been on the right track in the recent past. Last year saw the Tigers post their highest innings score of 638 against Sri Lanka at Galle.
“Bangladesh have improved quite a lot in the last few years and we are not going to take them lightly at all. We will play hard cricket and play to win. It's their home and it will be very hard to beat them here, but we are confident of playing some good cricket,” said Mathews.
Sri Lanka arrived in Bangladesh three days before the start of their first Test and are going into the series without a practice match. Mathews however, was confident regarding his side's ability to adjust to the conditions.
“Few of the boys have played here before and they know about the pitch and the conditions. And you know our team staff has also been here for quite a while. They know the conditions and we got a lot of information from them,” said Mathews, who himself had played for Brothers Union in this year's Dhaka Premier League.
The likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have traditionally had good outings against Bangladesh. Sangakkara averages a staggering 82.31 against the Tigers and Jayawardene is not too far behind with 66.15.
Mathews however, was excited about the youngsters in the side who have been performing well in the recent past. “We have got Kaushal Silva. He has been one of the leading run-getters in the Pakistan series and there's also Dimuth Karunaratne at the top. There's also Dinesh Chandimal, who I am sure will deliver the goods for us,” said Mathews.
Away from cricket, Mathews and Co have reportedly been impressed with the security arrangements -- which dominated most of the headlines prior to the tour -- made by the BCB. Speaking to reporters, Sri Lanka team manager Michael De Zoysa said, “The security arrangements are excellent. They (BCB) are doing everything possible to make sure the team is well guarded. We are satisfied with all the arrangements.”