Sri Lanka opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka ruled out of Asia Cup due to back injury

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Sri Lanka's Dhanushka Gunathilaka injured himself on Thursday

Sri Lanka have been dealt a blow with opening batman Danushka Gunathilaka ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a back injury.

The 27-year-old suffered the lower-back injury during practice at the ICC Academy in Dubai and will now fly home to receive treatment. The Sri Lankan Cricket Board have now called up left-handed batsman Shehan Jayasuriya into the squad.

On Monday, Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dinesh Chandimal withdrew from the squad after injuring his finger during a domestic T20 match.

Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dhanajaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Lasith Malinga.

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Asia Cup 2018 Team Guide: Shakib Al Hasan carries the hopes of Bangladesh once again

Waseem Ahmed 13/09/2018
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Shakib (l) remains Bangladesh's stalwart.

The 14th edition of the Asia Cup is fast approaching with the tournament slated to be held in the UAE for the third time in its history.

Six of the best teams from the continent will battle it out for the crown of Asia’s best across two venues.

Bangladesh, who are yet to lay their hands on the title, have been placed in a tough Group B alongside Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Here, we take a closer look at the Tigers as they prepare to leave their mark in the UAE.

COACH – STEVE RHODES

Former England wicketkeeper Steve Rhodes took charge as the head coach of the team in June this year following an extensive search by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). The 54-year-old has vast coaching experience in country cricket where he served as the director of cricket for Worcestershire from 2006 to 2017.

His Bangladesh tenure got off to a dismal start with a Test series defeat in their tour of the Caribbean but the team then bounced back to clinch the subsequent ODI and T20I series.

Rhodes has started well in his Bangladesh job.

Rhodes has started well in his Bangladesh job.

CAPTAIN – MASHRAFE MORTAZA

The veteran pacer has been leading the ODI team for some time now and he brings with him a bagful of experience. Having burst onto the international stage as a genuine pacer in 2001, the 34-year-old has transformed himself constantly in the wake of recurring injuries, especially to his knee.

Now, he is a wily medium-pace bowler who can pick up wickets up front while keeping things tight at the death. With 32 wins in 58 ODI matches, Mortaza is the most successful limited-overs skipper in Bangladesh’s history and he will be hoping to lead the side to their maiden Asian crown as he approaches the twilight of his career.

Captain Inspirational: Mashrafe Mortaza.

Captain Inspirational: Mashrafe Mortaza.

STAR MAN – SHAKIB AL HASAN

Quite a lot has changed for Bangladesh cricket over the last few years but that Shakib Al Hasan remains their star man has not. Currently the No1 ranked all-rounder in ODI cricket, Shakib has been recently reinstated as the vice captain of the squad.

With over 5,000 ODI runs and 237 wickets, there aren’t many better than the Bangladesh all-rounder and if he can find some form, the Tigers are bound to go far in the tournament. Arguably the greatest player produced by his country, Shakib has been carrying the hopes of the Bangladesh team for over a decade now and he will be required to do it once again in the UAE. The all-rounder has deferred a possible finger surgery to make himself available for the tournament.

World's No1 ODI all-rounder: Shakib Al Hasan.

World’s No1 ODI all-rounder: Shakib Al Hasan.

ONE TO WATCH – MEHIDY HASAN

The 20-year-old batting all-rounder could be a game-changer in the tournament for Bangladesh if he can find his bowling radar. A handy lower-order batsman who can land the big blows, Hasan can also turn the screws with ball in hand. He barely gives anything away with his tight off-spin which is shown by his career economy-rate of 4.77.

He was the undisputed star of Bangladesh U19’s march to the semi-final of the World Cup in 2016 and has already been earmarked as a potential superstar for the country.

Future star: Mehidy Hasan.

Future star: Mehidy Hasan.

STRENGTHS – MIDDLE ORDER

With Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmadullah in tow, Bangladesh’s middle-order is one of the strongest in the tournament. If the likes of Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das can lay a solid platform at the top of the innings, then these three batsmen are more than capable of driving home the advantage in the death overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim brings plenty of run from the middle-order.

Mushfiqur Rahim brings plenty of run from the middle-order.

WEAKNESSES – TOP ORDER

With Tamim Iqbal nursing a finger injury and Nazmul Hussain yet to be capped at the ODI level, Bangladesh could have troubles at the top of the innings. They have added batsman Mominul Haque as a backup to the two openers who are both dealing with injuries. A lot of the responsibility in the top-order will fall on the shoulders of Liton Das who has played only 12 ODIs to date.

SQUAD

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nazmul Islam Apu, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Haider Rony, Mominul Haque.

All raring to go: The Bangladesh Tigers.

All raring to go: The Bangladesh Tigers.

SCHEDULE

GROUP STAGE MATCH 1

September 15: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.

Time: 14:00 GST

GROUP STAGE MATCH 2

September 20: Bangladesh v Afghanistan

Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Time: 14:00 GST

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Glenn McGrath says James Anderson's wickets record won't be broken

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Anderson went past McGrath's wicket tally on Tuesday.

Glenn McGrath does not think James Anderson‘s record Test wicket haul for a fast bowler will ever be broken.

Anderson overtook Australia great McGrath when he took the final wicket of the fifth Test to secure a 118-run and 4-1 series victory for England.

The 36-year-old is up to fourth in the global list with 564 Test victims, with only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) above him.

England team-mate Stuart Broad, 32, is Anderson’s nearest active challenger with 433, while injury-hit South Africa quick Dale Steyn, 35, has taken 421 Test wickets.

“If there is anyone out there, they have got a long way to go,” McGrath told BBC Radio 5 live. “I don’t think we’ll see it happen in the next decade.

“Just to play enough games to get anywhere near it is tough in itself. Other than Jimmy (143), no other fast bowler in the history of the game has played more than 132 Tests.

“Also, the nature of cricket these days is that there is so much more Twenty20.

Anderson dismissed Mohammed Shami to move past McGrath.

Anderson dismissed Mohammed Shami to move past McGrath.

“The game is quicker, it’s faster. And will bowlers play enough Test cricket in the future to get anywhere near the mark?”

Anderson shows no sign of letting up and has another milestone within his sights.

“If he can raise the bar to 600 wickets, that’s an incredible effort,” said McGrath, who took the record from Courtney Walsh in 2005.

“I was proud to hold it for as long as I did – for it to be beaten by somebody like Jimmy Anderson is great.

“I have a lot of respect for Jimmy. He’s been an incredible bowler for a long time.

“To think that Jimmy’s played for so long and continued at the top of his game shows his work ethic, his physical and mental strength and everything else that goes into it.

“When it comes to the art of swing bowling, there is no-one better.”

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