Banladesh vs Sri Lanka
Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Asia Cup, Group B
ASIA CUP : Sri Lanka vs Bangldesh - MATCH PREVIEW
The stage is set and in under 10 hours from now, Bangladesh will lock horns with Sri Lanka in the opening match of the highly-anticipated Asia Cup. Both the teams will look to topple each other in the first match and gain some momentum in the competition.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have played 42 ODIs against each other with the Islanders comprehensively leading the scoreline 36-6. But both teams are grappling with injuries ahead of their game.
Three players from Bangladesh -Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, and Mazmul Hosian – are currently injured. Shakib needs a surgery on his left little finger but has pushed it back till after the Asia Cup. Tamim Iqbal has a swollen right ring finger and Hosain also has an injury in his bowling hand.
Even Sri Lanka have a fair share of injured players. Two players, Dinesh Chandimal and Dhanushka Gunathilaka, have been ruled out of the tournament because of their injuries. This will surely be a setback for their batting line-up, which is actually a weakness of the current Lankan squad.
When we talk about momentum, Bangladesh are coming to this tournament with 2-1ODI series win against West Indies while Sri Lanka are coming off a 3-2 series defeat against South Africa. But Lanka’s record against the Tigers surely gives them an edge.
Bangladesh have a balanced team. They have a good mix of experience and raw talent, which could prove to be quite lethal if they all come together and perform well. Sri Lanka would highly rely on their captain Angelo Mathews to come good. They too have some really good players in their ranks, However, after the retirement of some stalwarts of the game, Sri Lanka’s performance has dipped quite considerably.
When it comes to the strengths & weaknesses of both the teams, Sri Lanka will be relying on their strong bowling unit. Bowlers like Suranga Lakmal and Akila Dananjaya will be really crucial for the Lankans. They have to be at their very best and provide some really amazing performance for their team. Veteran Lasith Malinga has also returned to the side. His experience will be quite useful for the youngsters.
As for Bangladesh, their strength lies in their well-balanced squad. Bangladesh have a commendable squad and with veterans like Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan Mushrafe Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman in the team, no one can the Tigers lightly.
It is really hard to make predictions, but looking at the given conditions, Bangladesh seems to be having an edge. One thing is certain, this will be a cracker of a game.
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar