Lankans planning ‘out of the box’
Troubles had escalated at home but Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne appeared fully aware of the challenges at hand, a day before his side take on Bangladesh in the first Test in Chattogram today.
While his counterpart Mominul Haque was looking to take things a day at a time, Karunaratne knew his side have the edge even in Bangladeshi conditions. Sri Lanka are yet to lose to the Tigers in Bangladesh in the red-ball format, but Karunaratne believes that their experience on Chattogram surfaces can help them bring a result into the question on what, in all likelihood, will be a flat deck. While there would be more of the same approach from batters, the bowlers will have to come up with something different.
"Similar conditions here, so we know how it's going to be in these tracks. It's a flat wicket here in Chittagong, so we have to score big runs to put pressure on the opposition," said Karunaratne.
"If you look at the last Test here, there were thousands of runs scored. So, it seems a pretty flat wicket. When you do the homework right, we can make some change here. If we can do that, we can go to Dhaka on a winning note."
Plenty of runs were scored the last time Sri Lanka played here. The Lankans identified that they may need to force a result here in order to give themselves a chance to seal or at least draw the series in Dhaka. Taking 20 wickets would be the toughest job.
"It's not easy. You have to work hard. Flat wicket will not give that much to the bowlers but if you are smart enough then you can take wickets here," he said.
While Bangladesh may look to keep things simple and wait for Sri Lanka to commit errors, the Lankans want to do something out of the box in order to give themselves the best chance.
"If there is not much in the wicket, then we have to think and try something out of the box. That's what we are planning for this kind of wicket. Let's see. We think we can do much better than the previous years."
Meanwhile, having returned negative on Covid test, ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan got back to the side after he had been ruled out of the series on Tuesday. Karunaratne said they already had devised their plans thinking Shakib will play.
"When we came here, we knew the Bangladesh squad and Shakib was there. We knew he would play and we took preparations accordingly. If he could not play that might be an advantage for us but there is no sudden change of plans for us at the moment."