Bangladesh go up against Sri Lanka in the first game of a three-match ODI series on Sunday, 23rd May, at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. Both teams are coming off defeats in their last international limited-overs outings, with Bangladesh getting beaten by New Zealand and Sri Lanka by the West Indies.
Tamim Iqbal will continue to lead Bangladesh, with Shakib Al Hasan returning to the ODI squad. They'll hope to make an impact on the game, especially in home conditions.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have switched things up and dropped senior players like Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne after the series defeat in the West Indies. Kusal Perera was named captain of the side, with Kusal Mendis being his deputy. Perera will hope that he can inspire this relatively inexperienced Sri Lankan side to success.
While Bangladesh were absolutely blown away by New Zealand in their last tour, Sri Lanka put up a good fight against the West Indies, despite losing both the T20I and ODI legs. They rallied back to draw the two-match Test series, with some good performances from Suranga Lakmal and Pathum Nissanka.
However, with plenty of new names in their bowling attack, it remains to be seen how Kusal Perera will manage this team over the 3-match ODI series. Despite their harrowing defeat to New Zealand, Bangladesh are a strong opponent on home turf and should start the series as the favorites.
Date: May 23, 2021 (Sunday).
Time: 01:00 PM (Local), 12:30 PM (IST), and 08:00 AM (BST).
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka.
It should be a hot and humid day in Dhaka with minimal chances of rain interruptions. The average temperature should be around 35 degrees celsius.
The wicket at Dhaka should be a pretty balanced one with something in it for both the seamers and spinners. However, it should get easier to bat on as the game progresses and the batters get their eye in.
Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal should continue at the top for Bangladesh, with Shakib all set to occupy the No. 3 position. Soumya Sarkar could get pushed back to his usual role as a floater in the middle-order, with Mushfiqur Rahim batting at number four. Mahmudullah was one of the better batters for Bangladesh against New Zealand, and his presence in their middle-order adds more solidity.
Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman should be the side's three main pacers, with Mehidy Hasan their primary spinner along with Shakib.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal(C), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(WK), Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain/ Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, and Mustafizur Rahman.
It's a tough task to predict the playing XI of this new-look Sri Lankan team. Danushka Gunathilaka should open the batting with skipper Kusal Perera, with Pathum Nissanka likely to get an outing at No. 3. Kusal Mendis should slot in at No. 4, with Dasun Shanaka set to follow him.
Dhananjaya De Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga should add a lot of firepower to Sri Lanka's middle-order. Hasaranga's explosive batting might be the X-Factor for the visitors.
Isuru Udana should lead the side's pace attack along with Dushmantha Chameera, with one between Chamika Karunaratne and Shiran Fernando likely to receive their ODI cap.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera(C/WK), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya/ Ashen Bandara, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera, and Shiran Fernando/ Chamika Karunaratne.
While the Sri Lankan side do not have much to lose, it's the hosts that look strong on paper. The Bangladesh batters will hope to capitalize on Sri Lanka's inexperienced bowling attack in order to secure a win in the series opener.
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