Kusal Mendis had recently been in superb Test-match form, which he extended to the shortest format when he dominated Sri Lanka’s primary T20 domestic tournament this year, soon before departing for the Asia Cup. In this series, he appears to have been pushed up the order to start the batting. Although his T20I stats are typically unimpressive, this is a position he prefers, striking at 137 when he opens and averaging 32. (career numbers are 121 and 20). He is auditioning for this job in the T20 World Cup in October.
Mahedi Hasan has been one of Bangladesh’s few consistent players in T20s over the last year. He has the best economy rate in world cricket among bowlers who have bowled at least 25 innings, indicating that orthodox offspin can still be effective. He uses side-arm deliveries on occasion, but his consistency is normally fairly tight. Mahedi is also a capable batter who might serve as an opener.
Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Match Preview: Pitch
Given that it appears likely that the match will be played on a used surface, it might be a touch more spin-friendly than the tournament’s other wickets. Even in the evening, temperatures will likely be in the low 30 degree Celsius level, making for sweltering conditions.
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About the Teams
Despite the significant defeat to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka might start with the same starting lineup. However, they might think about replacing Danushka Gunathilaka in the middle order with the effective Ashen Bandara. Alternately, they might leave Pathum Nissanka out and promote Gunathilaka back to the top of the list.
Bangladesh’s batting conundrum may force them to switch the starting tandem once more. One of those alternatives was Mushfiqur Rahim, however, he would have to accept this odd role. Bangladesh may potentially rethink its bowling strategy.
In the 12 completed matches between these two teams, Sri Lanka has won eight of them, while two of the last three have been lost.
In his four innings against Bangladesh, Kusal Mendis scored 53, 10, 57, and 11, at a strike rate of 169. On those occasions, he opened the batting, twice in Colombo and twice in Bangladesh.
Mahedi Hasan has only taken three wickets in five innings played in the UAE so far, which is not especially penetrative. But although not quite performing to his usual levels elsewhere, he has been frugal, giving up 7.45 per over.
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