Bangladesh v Sri Lanka: Second Test Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We preview the second Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka set to get underway on Thursday 8 February.  

The series opener yielded a whopping 1533 runs for the loss of just 24 wickets on a Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium pitch that resembled a veritable highway.

Both teams, however, can look forward to a stronger contest between bat and ball at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka - a venue that has seen only three draws in 16 Tests.

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka | 8 February - 12 February | Shere Bangla National Stadium | 5:30

To Win Match
Bangladesh 13/10
Draw 3/1 
Sri Lanka 15/10

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Bangladesh
The home side did far more than merely hold their own in the series opener, dominating with the bat for lengthy periods against a tired Sri Lankan attack. What they ultimately weren't able to achieve in the preceding ODI tri-series, they might be able to in the second Test.

While their batting requires little to no tinkering, despite the pledge of a more challenging deck, the bowlers must find a way to take 20 opposition wickets inside five days - a recall for veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, then, seems imminent.

Middle-order batsman Sabbir Rahman has been recalled, while Sunzamul Islam and Rubel Hossain have been omitted from the squad - and Mohammad Mahmudullah will continue as captain in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan.

Mahmudullah is a cool, calm and collected head - and will need to dictate terms to his bowlers and trust that one of Mustafizur Rahman or Taijul Islam can put in a particularly impressive performance.

Bangladesh have not lost any of their last four Tests at this venue, including historical wins over England, Australia and Pakistan - and a hard-earned draw against South Africa.

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Sri Lanka
The tourists will be without Angelo Mathews, who remains sidelined by injury. This leaves the batting department under-resourced - and the bowling ranks shy on a reliable seamer again.

Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara were used sparingly through the first Test, so there shouldn't be a need to rotate the pair of seamers, though the latter was battling a niggle in Chittagong.

Sri Lanka have to extract more out of Lakshan Sandakan. Veteran spinner Rangana Herath can't be expected to carry the slow-bowling attack all the time - and this week presents a great opportunity for Sandakan to set himself apart from the rest.

The Sri Lankans have never lost a Test series to Bangladesh. They, in fact, have only ever lost a single Test to the Tigers - that was at home, in Galle. They'll be determined to avoid a turn-up in the books.

They, too, will be eager to take example from their last Test outing in Mirpur, in 2014, when victory by an innings and 200-plus runs was achieved. That was against a rather different, inadequate host XI, though. This one, now, is far better equipped.

Verdict: Bangladesh 13/10
The series opener had all the makings of a Bangladesh win, but the flat pitch ultimately had the final say. This time, however, conditions should level the proverbial playing field - and force the Tigers in front.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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