The hosts completed a thumping victory by an innings and 219 runs in the first Test at North Sound to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
For Bangladesh, the ignominy of being bowled out for 43 runs in the first innings at North Sound – their lowest Test total in history – will still be fresh in the mind when they take to the field on Thursday. Shakib Al Hasan’s men were slightly better in the second innings but even then, they could only muster 144 runs.
The visitors will be looking for their senior players in Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah to give a much better account of themselves with the bat after the four could only garner 51 runs between themselves in the two innings at North Stand.
The hosts will be banking on their in-form pace attack once again with Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins and skipper Jason Holder forging a lethal battery in recent times. Gabriel, in particular, has been in outstanding form with three five-wicket hauls in as many Tests.
They will be without the services of Roach for the clash with the pacer being given a rest after straining his hamstring in the first Test. He will be replaced by Alzarri Joseph in the line-up.
The Windies are currently ranked in ninth in the ICC Test table, one place behind Bangladesh in eighth. Holder’s men will leapfrog the subcontinent side in the table if they secure a series win.
Since 2014 when they beat the same opposition by 2-0 at home, the Caribbean outfit have only won one Test series – against Zimbabwe – in the 12 they have participated in. Despite their record, the hosts have shown they are clearly on an upward march and will look to seal a rare series win.
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Monimul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mahmudullah, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mehidy Hasan, Kamrul Islam, Abu Jayed, Shafiful Islam.
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3:00pm – Dale Steyn eyes Shaun Pollock’s record ahead of Galle Test
South Africa’s veteran pacer Dale Steyn is on the verge of becoming the leading wicket-taker for his country when his side takes on Sri Lanka in the first of the two Test at Galle on Thursday. Steyn is currently two shy of Shaun Pollock’s tally of 421 wickets and as such, could break the record at Galle should he be included the playing XI.
That is one of several talking points ahead of the first Test. Read more about the clash in our preview.
12:30pm – Run feast on the cards in first ODI between England and India
After a scintillating three T20s, England and India will resume their rivalry in a three-match ODI series which gets underway at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday. The venue was the setting for England’s world-record total of 481-6 against Australia recently and another run feast will definitely be on the cards owing to the talented batting-order possessed by both teams.
All that and more is among Sport360’s talking points ahead of the clash.
12:00pm – Sourav Ganguly wants Virat Kohli to continue batting below KL Rahul
In the recent three-match T20 series between England and India, Virat Kohli dropped down to the number four spot in the batting-order to allow the in-form KL Rahul to bat at number three.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly believes this is the best possible batting-order for India in the longer-term and wants Kohli to continue that trend in the ODI series which begins on Thursday.
Read what the former India skipper’s full quotes on the subject here.
Both teams come into the series on the back of impressive results with the Proteas having demolished Australia 3-1 at home while the Sri Lankans fought back valiantly to draw the three-Test series in the West Indies 1-1.
Faf du Plessis‘s men are the No.2 ranked Test outfit in the world and they will look to repeat the trick from their previous two-match Test tour of the Islands back in 2014, where they triumphed 1-0.
All eyes will be on whether Dale Steyn is handed a spot in the playing XI with the veteran pacer returning to the squad for the first time since injuring himself in the first Test against India at the start of the year.
While spin might be the way go in the subcontinent, South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has insisted that his squad will look to play to their strengths by lining up with three quicks. If his words are anything to go by, Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander could make up South Africa’s pace battery with Lungi Ngigi being the unfortunate bowler to miss out.
If Steyn indeed plays, he will be looking to overhaul Shaun Pollock to become the highest Test wicket-taker for South Africa. The 35-year-old is currently two wickets shy of Pollock’s tally of 421 wickets.
Hosts Sri Lanka will be looking to veteran spinner Rangana Herath again to carry their hopes with the ball in the Test series. The 40-year-old has an excellent track record at Galle where he has picked up 94 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 24.78.
Sri Lanka are sweating over the availability of skipper Dinesh Chandimal for the Test. Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and manager Asanka Gurusinha admitted to conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game in the recent tour of the West Indies when they refused to take the field owing to ball-tampering allegations.
"The verdict on the national cricket team’s top management and captain Dinesh Chandimal for bringing the game into disrepute is expected to be delivered tonight (Wednesday) ahead of the first Test match against South Africa in Galle on Thursday." https://t.co/uIFmig3hgQ— Island Cricket (@IslandCricket) July 11, 2018
The hearing for the Level 3 offence took place on Wednesday with the verdict expected to be announced soon. If the sanctions to the offence Chandimal has pled guilty are enforced, the Sri Lanka skipper will be forced out of the entire two-match Test series. If Chandimal misses out, pacer Suranga Lakmal could lead the team once again.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal (c), Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Kumara.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.