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BAN vs SL, 2nd Test: Bangladesh peg hopes on Shakib return for Test lift against Sri Lanka

Bangladesh is counting on the return of veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for a much-needed energy lift ahead of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka, stand-in coach Nic Pothas said on Friday.

Sri Lanka thrashed Bangladesh by 328 runs in the first match of the series, with the hosts failing to post 200 in either innings.

Shakib is returning to the Test squad for the Chittagong match starting Saturday after more than a year’s absence, and after being elected to the Bangladeshi parliament in January.

“I think any team that has Shakib in it is very fortunate. We welcome him back,” Pothas told reporters.

“It is always great to have him in the changing room. His energy is very infectious. He has a lot of experience for the guys to learn from, and whenever Shakib is back, he’s a giver. So we really enjoy having him around the group,” he said.

Pothas also defended Bangladesh’s under-fire batsmen, saying the team was in the middle of a generational change.

“We have a very young and inexperienced group. There was a very elite group before this. Now we have to build,” he said.

“The only thing that we request is that people be patient. These are very good young players, but they are young, and they’re playing against an experienced team, and it will take time,” he added.

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Sri Lanka captain Dhananjaya de Silva said he expected his side’s top-order batters to come good in Chittagong after failing to shine in the first Test.

“They had been performing well in the last few matches. I have no doubt that they will definitely perform in this match,” he told reporters.

Sri Lanka were untroubled in Sylhet despite losing Nishan Madushka for two and 10.

De Silva and fellow middle-order batsman Kamindu Mendis scored a century in each innings of the game, becoming only the third pair from the same country to do so in a Test.

Brothers Greg and Ian Chappell of Australia and Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali were the other two duos to make the feat.

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