Bangladesh took a hammering in the first Test against Sri Lanka, losing by an innings and 248 runs. They have a chance to make amends in the second Test starting in Chittagong on Tuesday but will go in as heavy underdogs.
What: Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka, second Test
Venue: Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
When: Tuesday-Saturday, Feb. 4-8
Start time: 3:30 a.m. GMT/9:30 a.m. local time
Weather: Accuweather forecasts clear skies and temperatures up to 30 degrees celsius for most of the Test. As it stands, there will be no rain to worry about.
There weren't many positives for Bangladesh from the first Test. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim fought valiantly in the first innings, but overall the hosts looked hapless and hopeless.
Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal led the Sri Lankan attack brilliantly in the first innings, taking seven wickets between them. Lakmal's ability to extract extra pace and bounce from any surface helped set the tone for how the game played out.
Bangladesh were weak against the new ball, and were it not for the late charge from the lower order, things might have been more embarrassing still.
Sri Lanka's batting was similarly ruthless with Bangladesh's bowlers largely toothless. It's hard to see anything changing drastically as the teams move to the second Test. It's hardly Bangladesh's fault; they play so little Test cricket that their cohesion as a unit has clearly been impaired.
They are out of practice and out of their depth against the experience that Sri Lanka, who came into the series off the back of three Tests in January, bring to the fore.
There are two injury issues for Sri Lanka to overcome, though, with Rangana Herath and Eranga withdrawn after suffering with a knee injury and a thigh strain respectively, per Sri Lanka Cricket, but even with a reshuffled bowling attack, the tourists, perhaps featuring replacements Kusal Janith Perera and Thisara Perera, are unlikely to be troubled.
A win to square the series is nigh-on impossible for the hosts, so they will have to shift their attention to smaller targets. The first target is to post a score of over 300 in their first innings. Setting small pockets of targets might not help Bangladesh win the Test, but it will help them grow a little bit in confidence before heading into the limited-overs matches.
Tamim Iqbal's place at the top of the order cannot be undervalued. Although he didn't manage to get out of the tens in the first Test, a blip for him is usually followed by a substantial score. When he scored seven and zero in two consecutive innings last year, he bounced back with 46, 95 and 70. His ability to keep calm and set the foundation is crucial.
Ajantha Mendis is likely to come in for the injured Herath. He has not played a Test since March last year, but on a slow and flat deck, turning the screws on the run rate will be much needed.
Imrul Kayes, Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (w/c), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Marshall Ayub, Sohag Gazi, Al-Amin Hossain, Robiul Islam, Shamsur Rahman
Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (c), Prasanna Jayawardene (w), Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Kusal Janith Perera and Thisara Perera
Stats and squads from ESPNCricinfo