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al Furqaan
February 15, 2006, 12:14 PM
[To Moderators: this post is now complete and I would be flattered if it appeared on the front page as we have no preview article and in the past i have written a few preview articles. thanks.]

Its that time again. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after a long 5 months without international cricket, Bangladesh are back on ICC calendars. As always, this series begins as all others began: full of hope and almost lethal amounts of excitement. Most series see the hope and excitement dashed not long after the first ball is bowled, and here's hoping that that is not the case for this series.

Sri Lanka head to town for 3 ODIs and 2 Tests. Here is a bit of what I believe is important to know and anticipate.

ODI Preview

The Sri Lankans have had a tough and grueling schedule since we played them back in September. Tough tours in India and New Zealand, as well as the VB series have produced a less-than-flattering ODI record of about 6 wins and 16 losses from 22 matches. Still, with convincing wins against both South Africa and Australia, the Lankans will be more than a handful for the Tigers even without the likes of Murali, Vaas, and Atapattu.

There are 2 important factors in this series. One bodes well for the Tigers, the other not so well.

The first is that over the last 20 + matches for the Lankans, their bowlers have taken a beating. The Indians and Australians have all managed to regularly punish the Lankan bowling attack and have done so with great success. In fact, it can be safe to say that the bowlers have lost the majority of the matches for Sri Lanka over the last several months.

The second fact of importance is that the Lankan batting has, for the most part, been very good. They have often posted big scores behind the fine play of Sangakkara, Dilshan, and Atapattu.

In short, Sri Lankan batting is strong; was never out of form and their bowling has been dissappointing of late.

Our chances of success in this series will hinge (as always) on our top order batting. It seems like a broken record, but it is nevertheless true that our top 6 batsmen, must score runs without losing wickets quickly.

Without Vaas in the ODI series, the Lankan pacers do not, in my view pose a huge threat to our batsmen. Malinga may be the single biggest threat, but as our previous series have shown us, our top order are now fairly competent playing against quality and speedy quicks. It is the spinners who will trouble us the most. Even without Murali in the ODIs, the Lankans have enough spin to kill us. Chandana, Jayasuriya, and others, will be enough to hammer us, if our boys are not on their toes.

Our bowling is no doubt boosted with the return of Mortaza, and along with Russel, we should have a swinging pair of openers who can bowl a tight first 12 overs or so. This will be crucial, for our spinners and backup bowlers so that the Lankan batsmen do not have the platform to cruise until the 40th over.

Overall, chances are that we will and should play competitive cricket in all 3 matches, but a win will be hard to come by. Still it is a possibility that can never be counted out at all.

As a final thought, any success in this series should not be discounted by the claim, that Sri Lanka are fielding a '2nd string side.' A number of points to consider.

a) The last time we played the Lankans, Murali and Vaas combined for about 2 wickets the entire ODI series. Murali had success in the Tests and will be in the Test squad this time around as well.

b) These players are old, and they will retire in a couple of years anyway.

c) The replacement players probably have more ODI caps then many of our stalwarts. And they probably have better stats to boot.

The final point I would like to make is that this series will take place in all new venues. The Shaheed Chandu stadium in Bogra will host the first 2 ODIs and the 2nd Test, whilst the Chittagong Divisional Stadium gets the other ODI and first Test match.

The stadium in Bogra looks very classy, and day-night matches there under lights should look very good indeed. Plus with a capacity of 20,000 and sold out tickets, Bogura will not be a dull place at all as some may have feared.

Let us sit back and enjoy this series and wish both teams the best of luck.



Edited on, February 17, 2006, 10:44 PM GMT, by al Furqaan.

sadi
February 15, 2006, 12:42 PM
how fit is mashrafee.... I am not sure whether he can give his 80 percent on the field yet...

Sauron
February 15, 2006, 12:54 PM
শ্রীলঙ্কা ভাস আর মুরালি'কে বাদ দিয়েছে, এখন আমাদের বাদ দিতে হবে চাচা'কে। তাহলেই দেখবেন খেলা অনেকটা বেশি এক্সাইটিং হচ্ছে।

ASA
February 15, 2006, 02:29 PM
from New Age ...

Sri Lanka star trio confirmed absent, Bashar fears fog
STAFF CORRESPONDENT

Sri Lanka confirmed they will be coming to Bangladesh without three key players Marvan Atapattu, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan to play the three-match one-day series, starting in Bogra next week.

Sri Lanka Cricket sent a 15-member squad to the Bangladesh Cricket Board on Wednesday, before it was officially announced. The visiting side however did not mention who is going to lead the team during the month-long tour that also includes two Tests.

However, a Sri Lankan newspaper, Daily News, reported that middle-order batsman Mahela Jayawardene is tipped to be skipper in the absence of Atapattu with wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara his likely deputy.

Hasantha Fernando, Dhammika Prasad, Lokuarachchi, who did not play in the VB tri-series, are going to replace the star trio.

On receiving the Sri Lanka squad list, the BCB immediately conveyed it to the Bangladesh team now in Bogra, the venue of the first two one-dayers.

‘We had expected a Sri Lankan squad like this one. We are ready to take on them,’ Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar said after learning about the list.

However, he had more pressing matters to sort out than considering the depth of Lankans. On Tuesday the Bangladesh captain expressed his dissatisfaction about the facilities in Bogra and later on he was confronted by fog during training.

‘I saw dense fog when we practised under the lights. Although, in the subcontinent it is not very uncommon,’ he told reporters at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium on Wednesday.

Bashar is particularly worried about the fog as both matches scheduled on February 19 and 20 are basically day-nighters.

But there is strong possibility that the schedule could be revised following a request from the SLC. According to BCB sources, the Sri Lankans want their team to get an additional rest day after a hectic Australia tour.

In that case, the first one-dayer will be played on February 20 and the second game would turn into a day game on February 22.

The BCB had a long telephonic discussion with the SLC and ESPN-STAR Sports on Wednesday but could not reach a solution. BCB joint secretary Rafiqul Islam Babu told New Age they hope to arrive at a decision today.

Sri Lankan ODI squad: Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Jehan Mubarak , Sanath Jayasuriya, Upal Tharanga, Tilkaratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Malinga Bandara, Ruchira Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Chamara Kapugedara, Akalanka Ganegama, Hasantha Fernando, Dhammika Prasad, Kaushal Lokuarachchi.

abherath
February 15, 2006, 11:55 PM
Excellent analysis, al Furqaan. This is front page material. Hope the moderators would do the needful.

Just one comment I would like to make. Mortaza and Syed Rasel have the potential to cause some problems to the Sri Lankan top order, with their swing.

samircreep
February 16, 2006, 07:08 AM
Rassle needs to add at least a yard of pace if he is to bother test calibre batsmen.

Ak
February 16, 2006, 07:36 AM
Alok Kapali should be given another chance in the 1st team - he's got so much potential its about time he fulfilled that!

fy288
February 16, 2006, 07:42 AM
I believe our first match is on sunday, and the sri lankan team played their final ODI against australia this tuesday, talk about tight scheduling!!!! Hopefully BD can inflict a defeat on the sri lankans, providing they are still feeling the effects of jet lag!!!

Inshallah with 5 months playing domestically and spending quality time with their respective families the tigers put up a decent showing against the lankans, in previous series against them we have been awful to say the least.

sadi
February 16, 2006, 09:13 AM
yeah this is our best chance to do something good... Srilanka will be definately tired and we are relatively fresh... playing in our own backyard should also help us out a little...

al Furqaan
February 17, 2006, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by abherath
Excellent analysis, al Furqaan. This is front page material. Hope the moderators would do the needful.

Just one comment I would like to make. Mortaza and Syed Rasel have the potential to cause some problems to the Sri Lankan top order, with their swing.

thank you very much...i would like to reiterate the main point in my preview is that to think that sri lanka are struggling is a huge mistake. their batting is very strong and their bowling has let them down.

mahrookh
February 17, 2006, 06:13 PM
What preview ? I want them to win atleast one odi . Either Monday or Wednessday before that I don't wanna read the preview and it will make me sick .

Edited on, February 17, 2006, 11:20 PM GMT, by mahrookh.

arafath79
February 18, 2006, 04:08 PM
we want win !! :fanflag:

CricTiger
February 18, 2006, 11:09 PM
We should play at our best to celebrate this new ground and make a history by winning the first ODI