Bangladesh keen to prove they can challenge Sri Lanka again

COLOMBO Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:26pm IST

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Bangladesh want to show they are capable of competing against the best teams on a regular basis and hope their record-breaking run in the high-scoring first test draw against Sri Lanka was not just a one off.

"Being consistent is the biggest challenge. We have often done well for one or two games and then we haven't done well," Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim told reporters in Colombo as his men got ready for the second test which starts on Saturday.

Rahim became the first Bangladeshi to score a double century as the visitors recorded their first test draw against Sri Lankan, thus snapping a 12-test losing streak against the islanders.

Bangladesh amassed their highest total (638) in Galle and the 1,613 runs scored between the teams was the highest match-aggregate in a test in Sri Lanka. Unsurprisingly, Rahim is not expecting the hosts to produce such a placid pitch second time round.

"It was almost a given that if they can't get us on a spin track, they will prepare a green wicket. There is some live grass in the wicket, that's why the seamers will get purchase from it. But I don't think it will last for all the five days, probably last the first day or two," Rahim said.

"Our bowling attack is relatively less experienced than our batting. The bowlers have to take up the challenge of bowling consistently in one area.

"Like our batting partnerships in the first test, I want the bowlers to bowl in partnerships, bowling tight from both ends."

Rahim said he also had more players at his disposal for the second test at the R. Premadasa ground since Tamim Iqbal and Rubel Hossain have recovered from their injuries.

"Tamim is fit and ready to go, so he will probably come in," said Rahim. Rubel is fit, he will probably play. We will take a look at the wicket and then decide on the changes."

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews said his team might consider an additional fast bowler at the expense of spinner Ajantha Mendis in the second test.

"Looks a very good sporting wicket. A seamer friendly wicket. You have to try and win the game. There is a possibility of an additional seamer coming in," Mathews said.

"You can't predict the wicket hundred percent, but I am sure the wicket will help seam bowling a lot. Herath will be our number one spinner and if we opt for three seamers, Mendis will sit out probably."

(Writing by Shihar Aneez, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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