Bangladesh's cricket captain Mominul Haque throws a ball during a practice session ahead of their first test match against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on 20 April 2021
Bangladesh's cricket captain Mominul Haque throws a ball during a practice session ahead of their first test match against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on 20 April 2021AFP

Bangladesh won the toss and chose to bat first in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning.

The visitors chose to bat first hoping to weather the pace attack of Sri Lanka comprising Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando and put up a big total before employing their three-prong pace attack.

At the toss, Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque felt the pitch looked a little dry, and he expected the spinners to come into the game in the fourth innings, reports espncricinfo.com.

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Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne hoped his fast bowlers could exploit the early moisture. Sri Lanka recalled Angelo Mathews. He replaced Dinesh Chandimal.

In a pre-series press conference held virtually on Tuesday afternoon, Mominul said Bangladesh are going to rely on the pace bowling attack more in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

“We’ll field a pace-dominated bowling attack in this Test,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll reduce our chance to win the match. We’ve a reliable pace bowling attack consisting of experienced and new guys.”

“The bowlers who proved themselves earlier -- like Abu Jayed, Eabadot (Hossain) and Taksin (Ahmed) -- will get a chance in this series. Apart from them, Shoriful and other new pacers are also reliable,” Mominul added.

It has been more than eight years since a Bangladeshi pacer recorded a five-wicket haul in Tests -- Robiul Islam bagged five for 85 against Zimbabwe in Harare in April 2013. After that, no Bangladesh pacer was able to win a Test for the team.

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In the last five years, Bangladesh won only one overseas Test which was against Sri Lanka in 2017. Bangladesh captain said they are confident to replicate that performance in this series and to do that, they are relying more on the pace attack.

Teams

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das (wk), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando

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