After sealed trophies in both ODI tri-series and as well as test series, Sri Lanka head to play two match T20I series against the home team Bangladesh. Both teams has some injury concerns and misses out few key players. Bangladesh had frustrating 3 weeks since their loss in tri-series final, so look to back strong in front of home crowd. The 1st T20I match between Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka schedule to start at 5 PM Local | 4:30 PM IST on Thursday, 15th February 2018.
Bangladesh’s T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan is not available for the first match due to hand injury sustained during the tri-nation ODI series final last month. On his absence, all rounder Mahmudullah takes the charge and will lead the team in this shorter format series. The left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam added to the squad as a replacement for injured Shakib and Mohammad Mithun received a late call up as the cover for Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, who are carrying minor injuries at the moment. The opening batsman Soumya Sarkar was an omitted from both ODI and Test squad in recent times. Now, he returns to the national squad for this T20 series. Bangladesh selectors gave an opportunities to players who were performed well in Bangladesh Premier League. Five uncapped players Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Mahedi Hasan, Zakir Hasan and Afif Hossain called up for this T20I series based on their good performances in BPL season. Afif Hossain also did a great job in recently concluded U19 World Cup. With many new comers in the side, it’s tough to predict the XI for the first match. As Soumya is back in the squad, he will open the innings along with regular opener Tamim Iqbal. In case Tamim is not fit to play, Mohammad Mithun might open the innings with Sarkar.
The young all-rounder Afif Hossain did a very good job at no. 3 for Khulna Titans in BPL and that may help him to grab no. 3 position. Senior players wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim and stand-in captain Mahmudullah are expected to bat at no. 4 and 5 respectively. Both Rahim and Mahmudullah are well talented and experienced players in T20 format and they should play anchor role with a bat. Mahmudullah bowl well in shorter format, hopefully that will work for him and his team in this game. Sabbir Rahman struggled for form across formats in recent times, this may his last opportunity to cement the place in XI. Either one of Zakir Hasan and Ariful Haque will get a game to bat at lower middle-order. Ariful batted so well at middle-order and won few matches on his own for Titans in BPL two months ago. As Afif Hossain bowls off-spin, other off-spinner Mahedi Hasan may need to wait for his international debut. Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam has a bright chance to play his debut match on Thursday evening. Remember, he has taken 10 wickets in his last 6 BPL innings. Bangladesh prefers to play with 3 seamers in limited overs cricket, that means either Abu Hider or Abu Jayed will accompany Mustafizur and Rubel Hossain in pace unit. Mohammad Saifuddin who made his ODI debut in tri-nation ODI series, also in line to make his T20 debut. This will be a testing time for Mustafizur Rahman ahead of the IPL season. Rubel did a brilliant job in the ODI series, hopes for him to do well in T20s too.
SRI LANKA :
Sri Lanka faced heavy defeats in all 3 T20I matches in their last series against India. But Sri Lanka’s recent victories in both ODI and Test formats makes them favorite in this T20I series. Dinesh Chandimal took back captaincy from all-rounder Thisara Perera and will lead the team in the 2 match series. The hard-hitting top order batsman Kusal Perera left out from the squad with an injury at last moment and Kusal Mendis added to the squad as a replacement. The wicket-keeper opener Niroshan Dickwella is expected to be back at top order as shorter format series begins. His quick scoring skills will help the team in a big way. The experienced Upul Tharanga opened the innings in that series against India and played one good innings in 3 matches. As Danushka Gunathilaka didn’t do good at middle-order, he has a chance to open the innings with Dickwella or at least to bat at no. 3. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal will take his regular batting position in limited overs cricket at no. 4. He didn’t play T20Is for quite long time and this will be his second debut in the format. Chandimal has a role to play and remember he has played lot of quick knocks in both ODI and T20s in the past.
The veteran all-rounder Jeevan Mendis re-called to T20I squad for the first time in 4+ years. His experience is the key and he might get a place in the middle-order. Jeevan’s legbreak will be the added advantage of having him in the XI. Thisara Perera was the only stand-out performer for Sri Lanka in Tri-nation ODI series last month. He was in red-hot form with both bat and bowl and if he continue that similar form, he will turnout as the match winner once again. Asela Gunaratne wasn’t at his best in India and also in Bangladesh (ODI Tri-Series). This may be his last opportunity to showcase his skills and keep the place in national team. Pace bowling all-rounder Dasun Shanaka used to play a good role with both bat and bowl in T20 format, hopefully, he will do well in this series too. Spin bowlers Jeffrey Vandersay and Amila Aponso are in the squad, but Akila Dananjaya could be the first choice spinner for Sri Lanka. Especially, after his match winning efforts in the last test, Danajaya has a point to make in T20Is too. Due to the absence of senior pacers Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep, both Snehan Madhushanka and Isuru Udana has an opportunity to get a game on Thursday. Asitha Fernando is the other pace option in the squad.
KEY FANTASY PICKS :
- Tamim Iqbal
- Musfiqur Rahim
- Afif Hossain
- Ariful Haque
- Nazmul Islam
- Mustafizur Rahman
- Rubel Hossain
Wild Card Pick – Mahmudullah
SRI LANKA :
- Upul Tharanga
- Danushka Gunathilaka
- Dinesh Chandimal
- Thisara Perera
- Asela Gunaratne
- Akila Dananjaya
- Snehan Madushanka
Wild Card Pick – Niroshan Dickwella
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
1. Tamim Iqbal (if fit) / Mohammad Mithun, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3. Afif Hossain, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim, 5. Mahmudullah, 6. Sabbir Rahman, 7. Ariful Haque / Zakir Hasan, 8. Nazmul Islam, 9. Rubel Hossain, 10. Abu Hider / Mohammad Saifuddin, 11. Mustafizur Rahman.
SRI LANKA :
Late injury ruled out Asela Gunaratne from T20I series. Kusal Mendis will take Gunaratne’s place in the XI.
1. Niroshan Dickwella, 2. Upul Tharanga, 3. Danushka Gunathilaka, 4. Dinesh Chandimal, 5. Kusal Mendis, 6. Thisara Perera, 7. Jeevan Mendis / Amila Aponso, 8. Dasun Shanaka, 9. Akila Dananjaya, 10. Isuru Udana / Asitha Fernando, 11. Snehan Madushanka.
Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.