Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene hopes his deputy Kumar Sangakkara will be ready to solve their top order batting woes when they face Bangladesh in the first Test in Dhaka starting on Friday.
Sangakkara had a cut in his right foot and was struggling to wear shoes since Sri Lanka arrived in Dhaka last week to play the two-match Test series and a tri-nation one-day tournament involving Zimbabwe and hosts Bangladesh.
Sangakkara, who was the highest run-getter in Tests against Bangladesh with 707 runs until he was recently dethroned by South African captain Graeme Smith, also missed Sri Lanka's only warm-up game that ended on Tuesday.
"He is healing quickly and looks okay now. Hopefully he will be ready before the first Test starts," Jayawardene told reporters.
Jayawardene wants Sangakkara to be back to give his top order batting line up solidity as it looked vulnerable in a warm-up game against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI.
Though their bowlers excelled in the three-day games and bowled the local side out for 88 runs in the first innings, Sri Lanka's top order struggled against the largely inexperienced opponents.
They collapsed to 38-3 and needed two half-centuries from late order batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan and Prasanna Jayawardene to restore their pride.
Sri Lanka finally scored 316 runs in their only innings of the drawn game.
Jayawardene was duly worried about the top order batting.
"We bowled very well and our middle order also batted well, though the top order disappointed me," he said.
Sri Lanka have won all 10 Test matches they played against Bangladesh, with seven of their victories coming by an innings margin, but still they endured some anxious moments the last time they toured the country in 2006.
The memory of the last home series gives Bangladesh some inspiration, though skipper Mohammad Ashraful said his players have to give a much improved show to get a positive result against the tourists.
"Their bowling is really frightening. Most of the teams have either a good pace attack or a good spin attack, but Sri Lanka are good in both departments," said Ashraful.
"(Mutthia) Muralitharan took 70-odd wickets against us and the pacers also got plenty. We must deal with them better to get a positive result," said Ashraful.
Bangladesh in the last two home series came close to a win against South African and New Zealand, at least in one Test match, a fact that is also encouraging Ashraful.
"We have started playing well at home. Let see what happens, he said.
The first Test will have a gap on Dec. 29 for the parliamentary election in Bangladesh and is scheduled to end on Dec. 31. The second Test will be held in Chittagong from Jan. 3-7.
The tri-nation tournament will be held from Jan. 10-16.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Malintha Warnapura, Michael Vandort, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardane, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath, Dammika Prasad, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Thilina Thushara
Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Imrul Kayes, Roqibul Hassan, Mehrab Hossain jnr, Shakib Al Hasan, Rajin Saleh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shahadat Hossain, Enamul Haque jnr, Mahbubul Alam, Sajedul Islam. (Reporting by Azad Majumder; Editing by Martin Petty)