The first ODI series after the ICC World Cup 2019 will feature Asian neighbours Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The first ODI will be played in Colombo on Friday. The retirement of Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga casts a shadow over the preparations, though.
Both teams have had disappointing World Cup campaigns. Sri Lanka finished sixth with three wins out of seven finished games. Bangladesh finished eighth, although they had a more balanced campaign.
Sri Lanka Preview
Batting let Sri Lanka down in the World Cup, with just two centuries to their account. Indeed, just one 300+ score in six first batting attempts is a poor return. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne, however, has some exciting names at his disposal.
The young Avishka Fernando is a huge positive from the World Cup. Bowling will be led for the last time by Malinga. The ageless veteran will look to sign off on a high. With Akila Dananjaya returning to the fold, Sri Lanka have a balanced side.
It was Shakib Al Hasan who drove Bangladesh all through the WC. Along with him, regular captain Mashrafe Mortaza is also missing. That puts the onus on stand-in captain Tamim Iqbal.
Huge onus will also be on Mushfiqur Rahim, as the Tigers look to make up for Shakib’s absence. All-rounder Mosaddek Hossain will look to cement his spot in the side. All this, while Bangladesh search for their first-ever series win against Sri Lanka.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Avishka Fernando was the star of Sri Lanka’s WC campaign, which was otherwise mediocre. The stylish right-hander will look to build up on the promise.
Mushfiqur Rahim will be vital for Bangladesh’s cause in Shakib’s absence. He has scored 254 runs in his last four innings against Sri Lanka. Rahim will once again look to be among the runs.
Mohammad Mithun did not have a happy WC campaign. However, he scored 91 in the practice match. Runs from him could be vital for Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (C) 2 Kusal Perera (WK) 3 Avishka Fernando 4 Kusal Mendis 5 Angelo Mathews 6 Shehan Jayasuriya 7 Dhananjaya de Silva 8 Thisara Perera 9 Isuru Udana 10 Lasith Malinga 11 Akila Dananjaya
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal (C) 2 Soumya Sarkar 3 Mohammad Mithun 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (WK) 5 Mahmudullah 6 Sabbir Rahman 7 Mosaddek Hossain 8 Mustafizur Rahman 9 Mehidy Hasan 10 Rubel Hossain 11 Shafiul Islam
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