Sri Lanka say unfazed by Shakibs return to Bangladesh

Dimuth Karunaratne says Sri Lanka not surprised by Shakib Al Hasans return . Shakib Al Hasans was initially banned from the game due to a Covid-19 infection .

CHITTAGONG (Bangladesh) — Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne said his team was not surprised by Bangladeshs star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan's return ahead of the first Test in Chittagong on Sunday.Shakib, Bangladesh's top wicket-taker in Tests, was initially banned from the game due to a Covid-19 infection, but was allowed to play on Friday after testing negative.When we arrived here, we knew the Bangladesh squad.We were preparing for Shakib as well, so we were.

The absence of 35-year-old star players might have provided the visitors with a huge advantage, he said.But he is playing, and we were prepared for it, he said.Shakib's return was subject to his fitness, but captain Mominul Haque declared his fitness on Saturday.Karunaratne said he wanted Chittagongs' pitch to be flat, putting Sri Lanka in need of a lot of runs to push the hosts.

We can make a shift here, but I think we will go to Dhaka (for the second Test) on a winning note if we do the homework correctly.In their first innings in their last Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in 2018, Sri Lanka scored 713 runs, with Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, and Roshen Silva all scoring runs.Suranga Lakmal's retirement, according to Karunaratne, was an opportunity for young fast bowlers to excel and gain a foothold on the field.Lakmal, who took 171 wickets in 70 Tests, retired in India at the end of the Test series in March.

We've all noticed that Suranga was only holding up one end in terms of fast bowling, but Karunaratne said there's now a chance for someone else to capture that position.He said, I am looking forward to see who takes their hand up.Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in the top ten in the ICC Test rankings, with Sri Lanka currently seventh and Bangladesh ninth.Bangladesh drew 1-1 in New Zealand in January, but was well beaten 2-0 in South Africa in April after Shakib was hospitalized.