Shakib Al Hasan
All-rounder Shakib will be key to the visitors' chances Reuters

Sri Lanka host Bangladesh in the first of the two-match Test series at Galle from 7 March. The hosts are heading into the series after suffering a 3-0 whitewash in South Africa earlier this year.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, have travelled to Sri Lanka after losing a one-off Test but not before they gave a good fight with their skipper Mushfiqur Rahman scoring a ton. Notably, the visitors also faced a 2-0 defeat in New Zealand in January. On both occasions, despite being competitive, the Tigers struggled to be consistent.

However, the hosts will be boosted by the return of their talented pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who has completely recovered from a shoulder injury. Also, spinners Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam will be hopeful of getting good assistance from the wickets in the island nation.

Off-spinner Mehedi, who did not find much success in India after his series-equalling 19-wicket haul over two Test against England at home last year, will want to be among the wickets again. Shakib, who scored a double ton in New Zealand, should lead the batting unit along with veterans Tamim Iqbal, who scored a ton in the practice match, and skipper Mushfiqur.

On the other hand, Rangana Herath's, who whitewashed Australia 3-0 last year, will want to continue their good run at home. However, the absence of their go-to-batsman Angelo Mathews should have an effect in their performance. Asela Gunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella, who impressed in South Africa and Australia recently, will want to contribute with the bat in the longer format as well.

The focus though will be on skipper Herath along with off-spinner Dilruwan Perera in Galle, where there will be plenty of assistance for spinners. Notably, the two skittled Australia last year at the venue, picking up 16 wickets between them in the match.

TV Schedule

Bangladesh: BTV

Sri Lanka: Ten 3

Pakistan: PTV Sports

Middle East: OSN Channel 613

India: Ten 3

US: Willow TV

Team News

Sri Lanka

Squad: Herath (c), Karunaratne, Dickwella, Tharanga, De Silva, Mendis, Gunaratne, Chandimal (wk), Lakmal, Kumara, Pradeep, Bandara, Perera, Sandakan, Pushpakumara

Bangladesh

Squad: Rahim (c), Tamim, Das (wk), Sarkar, Mominul, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Sabbir, Mustafizur, Taijul, Mehedi, Taskin, Mosaddek, Kamrul, Subhashis, Rubel