Despite the lack of assistance from the pitch, Bangladesh bowlers showed good discipline and ended up scalping three wickets on the third day of the first Test at the Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy yesterday.
Sri Lanka trail by 312 runs in their first innings but still it will be very difficult for the Tigers to extract a result with just two days left to go. However, left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who bowled 20 overs on the day and scalped the prized wicket of Angelo Mathews, thought that maintaining discipline would be the key for the visitors.
"There isn't much help on the pitch -- be it for spinners or pacers. We need to keep on working by maintaining discipline. If we can maintain discipline and do something good by containing runs and use the pitch [to our advantage] early tomorrow [today], then we can get to a position from where we can win," said Taijul at a virtual press conference after the day's play.
"It's not that hitting the rough patches will make the ball take huge turns. The pitch is actually a very slow one for spinners and our plan is to bowl maintaining discipline. It will be important to figure out how and where to bowl to each batsman," the 29-year-old added.
Taijul, who had said during the West Indies series that a total of 250-300 would be good enough to defend but ended up on the losing side as the Windies chased down a mammoth 395-run target on the final day of the Chattogram Test earlier this year, emphasised on the importance of not letting the game slip away.
"Our plan for tomorrow is to bowl discipline-wise. We need to bowl with the right kind of fielding protection. Definitely, we will play to win the game. But we need to be mindful of not letting the game slip away from us at any moment," Taijul said.
Bangladesh went with five regular bowlers -- spinners Taijul and Mehedi Hasan Miraz alongside pacers Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain and Abu Jayed. Taijul thought that using five bowlers helps take the pressure on any particular bowler.
"It's always good to have more bowlers when playing Tests. So, having five bowlers in the side definitely helps me or any other bowler as we get more time to rest and initiate a comeback," Taijul added.
In absence of spin consultant Daniel Vettori, Sohel Islam has accompanied the Tigers as their spin bowling coach.
"We [spinners] actually work with Sohel bhai mostly when we practise in Dhaka. Whenever I face any problem, Sohel bhai recognises it instantly and understands my problem. So it is beneficial for me to have him around," said Taijul.