Captains reflect after Sri Lanka clean sweep Bangladesh in Test series

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Sri Lanka delivered another formidable performance in the second match, securing a comprehensive 2-0 whitewash over Bangladesh in the Test series.

It didn’t take Sri Lanka long on the fifth day to wrap up the series, as they picked up the remaining three wickets in less than an hour. Despite Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s valiant efforts with 81 not out, Bangladesh fell short by 192 runs, succumbing to yet another disappointing defeat on home soil.

The victory helped Sri Lanka from the bottom of the World Test Championship standings to fourth place with a 50 percent points percentage.

While renowned for their spinners, Sri Lanka’s pacers were the stars of the series, accounting for 33 of the 40 wickets taken against Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka’s captain, Dhananjaya de Silva, showered praise on his fast bowlers, acknowledging their pivotal role in securing the resounding series victory, an ICC report said.

“As a captain, I think more than going with a spinner on a dead wicket, I like to play a more aggressive brand of cricket, and go with fast bowlers,” Dhananjaya told reporters after the win.

“That’s why we went with three quicks. Our bowlers don’t need to have grass on the track to get wickets, and they proved that,” he said.

“To have a series like this where the fast bowlers win for us is a big morale boost for the team. There are areas in which we have to improve, and we will touch those up. But we will fix these and as that tour [of England] gets close, we’ll be 100% ready,” Dhananjaya said.

“We’re very satisfied with the win. There are many areas for us to improve, and I’ve talked about those with the team and the coaches are working towards that. If we can learn day by day and raise our game by 1%, we can make winning a habit,” he added.

In contrast, Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto urged his players to strive for improvement following a disappointing series.

Shanto emphasized the necessity of more match practice for the Test squad ahead of international assignments, advocating for A-team matches to help familiarise with playing conditions.

“If we can send our Test specialists in the Bangladesh A team to play in our next Test destination, we will be better prepared,” Shanto told the reporters.

“They will know about those wickets and conditions. Those who will play white-ball cricket, they have to do the job in the nets and make mental adjustments. Even if the A team series is at home, it will help,” he said.

“The way modern cricket is running, those who play the three formats have to make that adjustment. Those who play fewer formats could take better preparations. We have to find a way to adjust to the three formats going forward, and prepare accordingly,” Shanto said.

The Bangladesh batters have faced scrutiny following the whitewash, with the Tigers managing scores of less than 190 in three out of the four innings during the series.

Shanto was critical of his batters but remained hopeful for improvement in the upcoming series.

“We didn’t bat well throughout the series. There’s no option to give excuses. We can say lots of things but we didn’t bat well as a team in the four innings. We aren’t as poor a batting unit as we displayed in these two Tests. We are more capable. We have room for improvement both technically and mentally,” he said.

Bangladesh’s next assignment in the WTC25 is against Pakistan, scheduled for later this year in August, while Sri Lanka will embark on a tour to England for a three-match series around the same time.

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