Dhaka: Though Bangladesh have yet to win a Test in eight attempts in Sri Lanka dating back to 2001, their captain Mushfiqur Rahim believes they have their best chance when they take on the hosts for a two-match series next month.
Sri Lanka will be without veteran Mahela Jayawardene due to a finger dislocation, and his replacement, Thilan Samaraweera, is also in doubt following a knee injury. Kumar Sangakkar has not played an international series since December following a fracture to his left index finger, and his return is not 100% guaranteed. All this, according to Mushfiqur, gave Bangladesh a big shot at winning a Test in Sri Lanka.
"The tour is a big opportunity if we can play to our potential. We don't have a good record in Sri Lanka. So to do well we have to continue playing the way we have in the last 12 months," he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "There are sporting wickets in Sri Lanka hence we have to apply ourselves," Mushfiqur said. "They are going to miss [Mahela] Jayawardene which will be a big loss for them. Kumar Sangakkara's participation is also uncertain, so they will be weaker without two of their best batsmen. Their bowling attack is not extraordinary. They haven't won many Tests after [Muttiah] Muralitharan and [Chaminda] Vaas retired. So this is our best chance to do well in Sri Lanka."
Mushfiqur's team is coming out of the Bangladesh Premier League, but before that they beat West Indies in a five-match ODI series and had their moments in the two Tests prior to that. Though they will be missing Shakib Al Hasan who is set to undergo surgery, Bangladesh remained a competitive unit, felt Mushfiqur.
"There haven't been [many] instances of [us] doing well abroad. We haven't played consistently and there usually have been lots of changes in the squad. There are some new faces this time too, but this is a very promising side," he said. "We did well in our last series against West Indies. I don't think anyone gave us a chance, but we were consistent and ended up winning the ODI series."
The tour begins with the first Test in Galle from March 8, followed by another in Colombo starting March 16. Three ODIs and one Twenty20 international follow.