To prepare for the bigger battle at the ICC World Twenty20 will be on Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's mind when the two subcontinent teams face each other in the first T20 international at Chittagong on Wednesday.
The two-match series will also be a battle between the top-ranked T20 team Sri Lanka and the No. 10 Bangladesh, and an upset is what the Bangladeshis will be hoping for as they get set to host another mega ICC event after co-hosting the 2011 World Cup.
There are major changes at the helm for Bangladesh with regular skipper Mushfiqur Rahim absent and Mashrafe Mortaza taking charge. Tamim Iqbal too has resigned from vice captaincy, which gives a wobbly feel to the team's morale. Also there's a question mark over his availability due to a neck problem, in which case Anamul Haque is expected to come in.
File photo of veteran Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Mithun Ali will most probably keep wickets in the absence of Rahim. Veteran allrounder Shakib-Al-Hasan will have a key role as leader of both the middle order as well as bowling to an extent. Also likely is a debut for batsman Sabbir Rahman, who is much talked about in Bangladesh's domestic circuit.
It will more be a World T20 dress rehearsal for Sri Lanka against a much weaker opposition. The visitors will have Mahela Jayawardene back in the mix. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara are the other veteran batsmen in the side, alongside captain Dinesh Chandimal and allrounders Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera. Kusal Perera is expected to open the batting with Dilshan.
Lasith Malinga will be in charge of the bowling department, and helping him will be the experienced Nuwan Kulasekera on a Chittagong deck that is expected to be flat and full of runs.
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal/Anamul Haque, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Shakib Al Hasan 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Mithun Ali (wk), 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Farhad Reza, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (c), 11 Arafat Sunny
Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (c/wk), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Angelo Perera, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Sachitra Senanayake, 11 Lasith Malinga