Shakib gives Bangladesh boost in spin friendly against Sri Lanka in Chattogram

Sri Lanka’s fast bowlers took all 20 wickets in the first Test in Sylhet, but conditions are expected to be quite different for the second Test.

Shakib gives Bangladesh boost in spin friendly against Sri Lanka in Chattogram

The big picture – Chattogram will not be like Sylhet at all

For the second consecutive Test series between these teams, Sri Lanka’s seamers have been defining the contest. In 2022, Asitha Fernando and Kasun Rajitha combined to take 24 wickets in a two-match series in Bangladesh. This time, Sri Lanka are going to take all 20 wickets in Chattogram with their fast bowlers in Sylhet – the first time since 1986 that Sri Lanka’s pace attack has achieved this feat.

Shakib gives Bangladesh boost

Apart from the big win in Sylhet, Sri Lanka having got a lower-middle order batsman who has found instant success at the top level – Kamindu Mendis – will give them more boost.

However, it seems unlikely that the Chattogram pitch will resemble the damp seam-friendly surface on which Sri Lanka achieved the four-day win. Chattogram’s pitches are much better for batting and spinners have an advantage there. On that front, Bangladesh will feel they have Sri Lanka covered.


The return of Shakib Al Hasan, who has been unavailable for the tour so far due to an eye complaint, will give them the most confidence. Shakib is not only among their best batsmen, but he is also quite experienced as a bowler on the Chattogram deck, having taken 64 wickets in 19 Test matches there – the most for any bowler at the venue. He is joined by Taijul Islam, who has the second-highest number of Chattogram wickets with 47, and Mehdi Hasan Miraz, who is third with 34.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s lead spinner Prabhat Jayasuriya will be playing only his fourth Test overseas and has four career wickets away from home. Offspin-bowling all-rounder Ramesh Mendis, who is most likely to come into the XI if Sri Lanka opts for a second frontline spin option, is even more inexperienced overseas, having played just twice away from home.

Sri Lanka have never lost a Test in Bangladesh and the margin of victory in Sylhet was such that they will start the second Test with some confidence. However, Bangladesh will think of the game in Sylhet as an unusual event. In Chattogram, with Shakib, they will feel – and possibly will – be a completely different team.

In the spotlight – Shakib Al Hasan and Kamindu Mendis

Shakib Al Hasan undoubtedly attracts attention wherever he goes, but the newly elected Member of Parliament from Magura constituency could be particularly worth keeping an eye on in this match. Not only is this his first international match as an MP, but it is also his first game against Sri Lanka since he appealed for – and earned – a time-out against Angelo Mathews in the ODI World Cup.

Mathews criticized Shakib and Bangladesh for that appeal, and echoes of the anger generated at that time were present throughout the limited overs series. If Shakib sees any benefit in putting pressure on Sri Lanka again, it seems unlikely that his new position in the Bangladesh legislature will prevent him from stirring up more controversy.

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In three Test innings in his career, Kamindu Mendis has scored scores of 64, 102 and 164. Although he emerged in international cricket as a finger spinner who could operate with either hand, his batting has always been his primary suit.

And since he made his debut for Sri Lanka in 2018, he has clearly taken his batting up a number of levels, particularly improving his ability to deal with the moving ball, a skill which has helped him on the spicy deck in Sylhet. Served him well. There will be big tests for him, as the opposition will study his game and design strategies to exploit his weaknesses. But it now looks like he is set to retain that spot in the lower-middle order during a relatively busy Test year.

pitch and conditions

Zahoor Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium has the best batting pitch of Bangladesh. Here in the last five Test matches, the teams batting first have made an average of 380. The weather is likely to remain hot, with chances of rain in another five days.

team news

Shakib will likely replace Shahadat Hossain in Bangladesh’s XI. Naheed Rana’s pace is exciting but whether he will be effective on the generally flat surface of Chattogram is a question Bangladesh will consider. Hasan Mahmood can be an option for him.

Bangladesh (possible): 1 Mahmudul Hasan Joy, 2 Zakir Hasan, 3 Nazmul Hossain Shanto (captain), 4 Mominul Haq, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Liton Das (wk), 7 Mehdi Hasan Miraj, 8 Taijul Islam, 9 Shoriful Islam , 10 Khalid Ahmed, 11 Nahid Rana/Hassan Mahmood

With Rajitha out due to a back injury, Sri Lanka will likely bring Asitha straight into the XI, and pair him with left-arm fast bowler Vishwa Fernando. If any of Sylhet’s fast bowlers have to be dropped, Lahiru Kumara is likely to be dropped in favor of another spinner.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Nishan Madushka, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Dhananjay de Silva (c), 7 Kamindu Mendis, 8 Ramesh Mendis, 9 Prabhat Jayasuriya, 10 Asitha Fernando, 11 World Fernando

Statistics and General Knowledge

The three recent Tests between these teams in Chattogram have ended in draws
Asitha had taken 13 wickets at an average of 16.61 on her previous visit to Bangladesh, although her figures in Chattogram were 3 for 72.

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After scoring an unbeaten 87 on the fourth day of the first Test, Mominul Haq needs 25 runs to complete 4000 career Test runs. If he reaches there, he will be the fourth Bangladeshi batsman to achieve this feat after Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib.

Quotes – Everyone is talking about Shakib

“He seems to have lost weight. He is training. He has had a good BPL. He has had a good start in the Dhaka Premier League. He is happy and this is the only place we want Shakib. We Want her happy.”
Nick Pothas stands in for Chandika Hathurusinghe as head coach on Shakib’s return to Test team

“Why should I talk about him? He’s not on my team.”
When Sri Lankan captain Dhananjay de Silva was asked to say something on Shakib

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