Returning Mustafizur to make Sri Lanka work - Mushfiqur
The returning Mustafizur Rahman could be Bangladesh's key to achieving a positive result in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, says captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
Mustafizur has not featured in the longest format since his debut series against South Africa in 2015, missing the recent encounters against England, New Zealand and India due to shoulder and hamstring injuries.
Mushfiqur is excited to see the quick – who has two caps - join up with Shakib Al Hasan and Mehedi Hasan in the bowling attack and feels the 21-year-old is capable of causing Sri Lanka some serious issues.
"Having them in the bowling attack is a huge advantage. We have Mustafizur now with Shakib and Mehedi who have done well together already," said Mushfiqur.
"The type of bowler he is, Mustafizur will make them [Sri Lanka] work hard on this wicket.
"Many of them are going to play him for the first time, which we have seen is difficult for any batsman."
Mushfiqur has been asked to give up wicketkeeping duties for the match in Galle. He insisted he will do his best but admits it will be tough to have less time reading the track.
He said: "The heat here is such that it doesn't matter if you're keeping or fielding. It is a tough job.
"I have said it repeatedly that while keeping I understood the wicket better, which helped me as a batsman.
"It will be a different feeling. I have to do what I am told to do for the team. I am happy, and I will try to contribute as much as possible as a top-order batsman."
Sri Lanka will be captained by Rangana Herath for the two-Test series with Angelo Mathews absent due to a hamstring injury.
A total of 1,613 runs were scored when the two nations played out a draw at this venue in 2013, and Herath is predicting some early joy for the batsmen.
"We played a game in Galle and we scored some runs and they did too, and I think Mushfiqur scored 200 and [Mohammad] Ashraful scored 190," he said.
"For the first two or three days it's going to be a good track for the batters. It looks a good pitch. I'm sure there is some assistance for the spinners.
"There's an advantage for them because they know the condition and our player's strengths and weaknesses, but this is a new game so we have to get on with that."