There will be a significant amount of focus on Test skipper Mominul Haque and the rest of the Bangladesh team when they board a flight for Sri Lanka today to take part in a two-match Test series.
The Tigers will be desperate to return to the winning ways after losing their last eight international games across all formats, the latest being 3-0 whitewashes in New Zealand in both ODI and T20I series.
But following a thrashing 2-0 whitewash against a relatively inexperienced West Indies side on home soil earlier this year, Bangladesh have had to contend with questions over their approach and a lack of improvement in the game's elite format.
Bangladesh managed to win just one of their six Tests since Mominul took charge as Test captain in 2019 and the soft-spoken 29-year-old must show character as a leader and lead from the front both on and off the field to bolster a demotivated team ahead of the tour.
The cricketer from Cox's Bazar was heavily criticised following those losses to the Windies, but when it comes to handling the pressure of expectation as a captain of the Test side, Mominul believes he has managed to face the pressure and continue thinking positively.
"Representing the team at the international level has some pressure in it. You have to take that much pressure especially when results are not going your way. It depends on how you take it. I have digested the fact that I am the captain, so I think I can handle the pressure. I think it is a positive type of pressure," he said.
However, Bangladesh can take few positives from their previous outings in the island nation. A historic win in Bangladesh's 100th Test against the hosts in 2017 in Colombo is also the only time when the visitors had managed to beat their Sri Lankan counterpart in 12 games.
Although it will be a huge challenge for the Tigers, especially without star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul is looking forward to a good result in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
"Sri Lanka are a great team at home and it will be challenging for us. It won't be easy for us. But the situation we find ourselves in, we have to take up this challenge and get a good result. I think it will be a competitive series. Both teams have good pace bowlers. Batting is going to be very important. We haven't been batting up to everyone's expectations recently," Mominul told the media during an official pre-tour press conference at the home of cricket in Mirpur yesterday.
The majority of cricketers who returned from the limited-overs series in New Zealand will be part of the Test squad against Sri Lanka but Mominul believes that the preparation for the series has been good, especially for those who only play red-ball cricket.
"I don't think it's true that we can't get a result in absence of Shakib (Al Hasan) and Mustafizur (Rahman). They don't have 10-12 hands of their own. There are other players in the squad too. I don't think this (absence of Shakib) has had an impact on the results. What is happening is that we are not being able to play as a team."
Bangladesh Test Captain