Top order batsman Michael Vandort, 21, looks set to make his Test
debut in Sri Lanka's inaugural Test Match against Bangladesh and the
second game of the Asian Test Championship at the Sinhalese Sports
Club Ground on Thursday.
Middle order batsman Russel Arnold will be axed after a
disappointing Test run in which he has scored just two fifties in 24
The Asian Test Championship has been hit by the last-minute
withdrawal of India and the first game proved to be a predictably
one-sided affair, with Pakistan thrashing Bangladesh by an innings and
264 runs in Multan.
"In Zimbabwe we improved with every game we played, but we let
ourselves down in Pakistan," admitted Bangladesh coach Trevor
Chappell. "It was an excellent batting pitch and we failed to make use
of it despite the fact that our batting is recognised as one of our
Bangladesh have therefore decided to make two changes to the side,
bringing in 16-year-old all rounder Mohammad Ashraful, who will make
his Test debut, in place of experienced middle order batsman Akram
Khan, 32, who made his last visit to Sri Lanka as the captain of the
side for the Asia Cup One Day Tournament in 1997.
Khan has played in all four Bangladesh Test Matches, but has made
only 161 runs in eight innings with an average of 20.12.
"He's an experienced player but he's been out of touch. So we
decided to leave him out," said Chappell.
Bangladesh are also likely to bolster their batting by leaving out
35 year old left arm spinner Enamul Haque for 23-year-old right hand
batsman Al Shahriar.
Sri Lanka have dropped right arm fast bowler Dulip Liyange after
just one chance and his place is retaken by Ruchira Perera. Ravindra
Puspakumara may also play if Dilhara Fernando fails to recover from a
Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya warned his players not to be
complacent: "You cant' take them lightly even though they are a new
side at Test level. If we relax we could create problems for ourselves
so I am looking for a 100 per cent effort from the team."
The pitch looks similar to the one used in the third Test against
Colombo. Ranil Abeynaike believes it will be marginally quicker in
pace and will not deteriorate during the first three days.
Sri Lanka squad:
Sanath Jayasuriya (Capt), Marvan Atapattu, Michael Vandort, Mahela
Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Hashan Tillakaratne, Thilan
Samaraweera, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravindra
Pushpakumara, Ruchira Perera, Russel Arnold, Avishka Gunawardene,
Suresh Perera, Dilhara Fernando
Naimur Rahman (Capt), Javed Omar, Mehrab Hossain, Habibul Bashar,
Aminul Islam, Akram Khan, Khaled Mashud (wk), Enamul Haque, Hasibul
Hossain, Mohammad Sharif, Monjural Islam, Bikash Ranjan Das, Al
Shahriar, Mohammad Ashraful
Match referee: John Reid
Umpire: MM Aslam
Umpire: RE Koertzen
Third Umpire: Riazuddin
Fourth Umpire: DN Pathirana