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Cricket news - Onus on Bangladesh pacers to make things happen in Pallekele

Bangladesh will hope their bowlers are able to create sustained pressure in their two-Test series in Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh will hope their bowlers are able to create sustained pressure in their two-Test series in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka haven't had the best of starts to 2021 but Bangladesh go into the two-Test series knowing the odds will be stacked against them. Sri Lanka lost 0-2 at home to England after suffering an away 0-2 defeat in South Africa. However, they managed to draw the two Tests in West Indies to regain some confidence before the home series against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh come into the series with eight consecutive losses across formats. In their last nine Tests they have just one win - against Zimbabwe. The visitors understand that to do well in Sri Lanka, their pacers will have to put their hand up and script defining performances. In the two-day intra-squad match, Bangladesh used seven pacers but only Abu Jayed was able to pick up a wicket.

"Our pace bowlers bowled well in patches (during the practice game) but that won't serve the purpose as we need to bowl in partnership," Khaled Mahmud, former head coach and current team leader of the touring party, told Cricbuzz. "We haven't played in Pallekelle but what I understand it will have something for the pace bowlers and now they need to seize the opportunity.

"Our pace bowlers cannot get disoriented if things are not working for them because unless you are executing your plans and bowling according to your field it is very difficult to shine in Tests. Unlike in shorter formats, the batsmen won't be pushing for runs so you need to buy the wickets."

Bangladesh have included the likes of Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadat Ahmed, Abu Jayed and three uncapped in Mukidul Islam, Shohidul Islam and Shoriful Islam for the tour. The aim is to build a pace-bowling unit that'll serve the side in future. Bangladesh's High-Performance Unit bowling coach Champaka Ramanayke is confident the pacers have the required skill to shine in Sri Lanka.

"We have a bunch of fast bowlers now. In Tests, consistent line and length is more important than anything and also mentally you have to commit to it," he said. "They have that but it all depends on how committed you are. It is quite simple and also Kandy is a sporting wicket so fast bowlers can create chances for sure. Motivation and beliefs are keys to success."

The focus, however, will be on Bangladesh's spinners. Taijul Islam will lead the spin attack with Mehedi Hasan while Nayeem Hasan and Shuvagoto Hom are also expected to chip in in the absence of Shakib al Hasan. "Our spinners will have to bowl in the same area for a considerable amount of time because when the wickets gradually deteriorate, I am sure they can be threatening," said Nazmul Abedin.

"Initially they will have to bowl with one plan and when the wickets start helping the spinners than they can be more attacking. We don't have spinners who can buy wickets so we have to wait for the pitch to favour our spinners."

Bangladesh start their tour with the first Test on April 21. The teams will then stay on in Pallekele for the second Test from April 29.