DHAKA — Test skipper Mominul Haque remained upbeat about their chance in the upcoming Sri Lanka tour despite the warning of the hosts who publicly threatened Bangladesh to beat with extreme pace.
Mominul said they want to replicate their success against Zimbabwe in the Sri Lanka tour and vowed to fight fire with fire.
Sri Lanka have enjoyed overwhelming success against Bangladesh having won 16 of the 20 Tests between the countries but Bangladesh was never the pushover as they proved during the tour of 2017 when they won their maiden Test match against Sri Lanka.
“We are confident [about our chance against Sri Lanka],” Mominul said here today. “We have enough firepower in batting and bowling and we are confident to do well in both departments. Our Test result was not good enough but in the last Test series against Zimbabwe, we did well which gave us the confidence of continuing the success in Sri Lanka too.”
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Selection Board Chairman-cum-Manager Ashantha De Mel insisted that it is time to switch to pace when Bangladesh tour the Island for a three match Test series.
Sri Lanka have always relied on spin to win Test matches on home tracks but considering the depth of spin bowling line-up in their opponent and their batsmen’s weakness against genuine pace, Mel feels it’s time to change tactics at home considering it is sensible to rely on pace against Bangladesh as they have formidable spin options while Sri Lanka’s spinners , except maybe an aging Dilruwan Perera (38), are relatively rookie.
“We want to beat them with pace,” De Mel was quoted in Sunday Island on Saturday. “It’s not definitely going to spin. Bangladesh have a decent spin attack whereas we have a very good set of fast bowlers. So it’s sensible to stick to our strength. We might keep about five quicks in the squad. That is what the coaches are thinking,” he said.
Mominul, who is naturally calm, doesn’t want to think much about what Sri Lanka is saying or doing. He instead wants to keep faith in his players, who he said are desperate to do well in the Test series.
“Everyone in the team believes that we can do well in the Sri Lanka tour. Everyone has confidence, so as a captain, I am sure we’ll come with good results from Sri Lanka,” he said.
“What Sri Lanka is saying is not the matter of my headache. They definitely would have their plan but we have to ensure that we would play our best cricket. If we put up our best, I am sure, our chances will be brightened.”
Sri Lanka Cricket is yet to announce the schedule for the tour, but according to BCB, Bangladesh are expected to travel to Sri Lanka on September 27 for the three-Test series which is scheduled to start in Kandy from October 24. Sri Lanka is looking at ways to play two Tests at Pallekele as conditions there generally suit seam bowlers more. The last Test match will take place in Colombo.BSS