Fielding three seamers in a Test at home has not traditionally been Bangladesh's go-to move. So when young pacer Al Amin Hossain was picked alongside Rubel Hossain and Robiul Islam it was something unusual for the analysts.
It is not as though Bangladesh have never picked three pacers before. In fact on the tour to Zimbabwe last year, Bangladesh played with seam-bowling allrounder Ziaur Rahman apart from the regular bowlers. However, at home the tendency has traditionally been to play safe and depend on either a full-time spinner or an allrounder.
That theory gradually began to recede from last year, owing to the strengthening of Bangladesh's middle order. Bangladesh, for instance, decided against picking Mahmudullah Riyad in the New Zealand series and went in with seven batsmen, instead of the usual eight.
The team management's decision to pick another pacer had to do with coach Shane Jurgnensen's desire to play more aggressive cricket and it could perhaps be considered as another positive step that builds on last year's change.
It was a sentiment that was expressed by Bangladesh Cricket Board chief selector Faruque Ahmed.
“The wicket was very hard and we did not think that it would break. As a result we decided to go in with three pacers. They are unique. Rubel bowls well with the old ball, while Al Amin and Robiul can swing the new ball,” Faruque told The Daily Star.
“The Lankans did take advantage by bowling those shorter deliveries. If you notice, of their 64 overs only 22 were bowled by spinners,” he added.
While the management's strategy was no doubt to take the game to the visitors and break the general defensive mindset, the failure of their batsmen proved to be an obstacle.
“I think we just tried to play too many shots. It's an effect of playing so many T20s and one-dayers. There were a few instinctive pull shots that led to wickets. We need to spend more time at the crease; that's important too,” said Faruque.