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After run-fest in first Test, Bangladesh hopes to get bowler-conducive conditions at Pallekele

After run-fest in first Test, Bangladesh hopes to get bowler-conducive conditions at Pallekele

Former Bangladesh Test and ODI captain, Khaled Mahmud expects a lively surface at Kandy after the first Test ended in a high-scoring draw. The second Test will be up and running from April 29.

Even though there was a tinge of grass at Pallekele, yet it didn't offer much assistance to the pacers and wickets were hard to come by. Bangladesh racked up 541/7d and 100/2 while Sri Lanka replied by scoring a mammoth 648/8d in their only innings before the final session got drenched by rain as both teams shook hands.

"This definitely wasn't a result-oriented wicket, as there were only 20 wickets taken in the whole first Test match, so I'm expecting something better, a competitive wicket, at least, for the next Test match," said Khaled Mahmud.

The last thing Mahmud want to see is another flat and docile wicket where only batsmen can thrive and bowlers toll for five days. Erstwhile Bangladesh skipper felt sorry for the bowlers as they had nothing going in their favour and couldn't trouble the batsmen at any stage of the game. 

"We'd go see the wicket tomorrow, as it could be a seam-friendly track, it could be a spinning track, but it definitely shouldn't be a flat wicket like this one (the wicket of the first Test) and even the Sri Lankans didn't appreciate this wicket.

"I'm very sorry for the bowlers in both the teams, as there was literally nothing in the wicket to bowl at. Although we are experienced in the spin department, their pace attack was far more experienced than ours and still, they couldn't pick wickets," Mahmud added.

Mahmud has a lot of faith in the young crop of players and expects them to register consistent performances. He wants his side to build on confidence before heading to Zimbabwe for two-Tests. The focus is on the longer format and he wants Bangladesh to become a real force in red-ball cricket.

"I don't think I should do an evaluation after just one match, but I want the boys to be consistent, I want them to play consistently good from here on, but I believe in them, as we have another match in this series, and then we'll go to Zimbabwe, so I want this to become a proper Test team.

"If we continuously play better cricket for a long time, keep drawing matches on a regular basis, batsmen can bat with responsibility, then we'd start to learn about winning Test matches regularly in the coming days,'' he added.

Mahmud's counterpart, head coach of Sri Lanka, Mickey Arthur echoed similar views as far as the pitch was concerned in the first Test and he was looking forward to a track that would offer a bit more help to the bowlers. Arthur wasn't very happy with the behaviour of the pitch at Kandy and he wanted conducive conditions for his superior pace bowling attack.

 "We wanted to beat Bangladesh with a bit of pace and bounce, but it's just been extremely flat. We're going to have to reassess that. We're going to have to look at how we go for that second Test,'' said Arthur.

With the first Test not being a great advert for Test cricket, both teams thinktank expect a better balance between bat and bowl in the final Test of the series and a greater role of the bowlers in the upcoming contest.