Bangladesh opened their 2019 World Cup campaign on a strong note, by defeating South Africa. But since then, they have faltered against the superior in form teams. They lost against New Zealand narrowly, and England simply brushed them aside. Against England, it became glaringly evident that Bangladesh is suffering from the lack of a good pace attack.
Mustafizur Rahman is lacking the necessary variations important to succeed on a constant basis at this stage. The opposition can read his slower and cutter balls, and the yorkers have almost vanished in the death overs. Mashrafe Mortaza can feature in the starting eleven as a captain, but not as a bowler based on his current form. The pace hovers between 120-130 kph, and it becomes easy for the batsman to sit back and clobber the ball to the boundary. Mortaza needs to maintain a perfect line and length, if he wishes to contribute as a bowler with his much reduced pace.
Rubel Hossain is someone the team can bring into the playing squad, but that has to be done at the expense of Mashrafe, something Bangladesh cannot risk at this stage. Mohammad Saifuddin ha been the only bright spot in their pace attack, and his useful contributions with the bat has made him an important player in the squad.
The batsmen too need to up the ante and bat with fluency and purpose . Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar have failed to convert good starts, and the likes of Mahmudullah Riyad must arrive at the party quickly. Because, Shakib Al Hasan, who is in terrific form with both bat and ball, and Mushfiqur Rahim are not going to bail them every time.
Sri Lanka are lucky to find themselves at sixth position in the points table. After the humiliating defeat against New Zealand in their opening match, they scampered to a 34 runs win against Afghanistan. On Tuesday, they are going to face a team that is now a force to reckon with in world cricket. Despite their slump, Bangladesh holds the edge over Lanka based on their current form.
Though the bowling performances of both the sides are more or less similar at this stage, Bangladesh have a superior batting prowess. Sri Lanka's batting has failed miserably in the last two games, with none of the batsman looking comfortable in the English conditions except Kusal Perera, who scored an impressive 78 against Afghanistan. The team must buckle up and improve their level of performance to harbour any hope of defeating Bangladesh.
Match time: 3:00 PM (IST)
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Team news: Nuwan Pradeep, Sri Lanka's best pacer and Man of Match against Afghanistan, has suffered a hand injury and will be unavailable for selection against Bangladesh. Kusal Mendis is experiencing a slump in form, and the Bangladesh game is crucial for him to seal a spot in the first XI.
Bangladesh's talisman Shakib Al Hasan is doubtful for the match after he suffered a quadriceps injury against England. Thought Bangladesh team management is upbeat that Shakib will be fit for the match against Sri Lanka.If Shakib fails to pass the fitness test, Liton Das can be included in the squad because of the stability he provides in the top order, as was evident in the warm-up game against India. Or they can play Sabbir Rahman, someone who can provide them the big hits in the death overs.
Pitch report: In two of the last three games played here, Bristol has favoured teams bowling first. The pitch is expected to remain the same all throughout the game, so the team winning the toss might be interested in chasing.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perara, Isuru Udana, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahman (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan/Rubel Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Mustafizur Rahman
Betting odds: According to oddschecker, Bangladesh 8/11, Sri Lanka 6/5