Pakistan has had a woeful tour in Sri Lanka so far and they have lost each of the 2 tests in the two-match test series against the Sri Lankans. Now the Test series is over and things will start afresh in the ODI series which starts on 23rd August at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota. There will be three matches in the ODI series and Pakistan will desperately try their heart and soul out to make a fight back while Sri Lanka will try to carry on with their glorious run in international cricket at the moment.
Recently Sri Lanka had named its squad for the first two ODIs in the series. The Sri Lankan team will be captained by Angelo Mathews and Mathews has done considerably well for the team since his appointment as the captain. Upul Tharanga has been included in the ODI squad. He made his comeback in the series against South Africa but is yet to produce some major contribution with the bat as yet and this series will be extremely vital for the left handed opener. The batting hub will be empowered by the likes and year-old experiences of Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara and Tilekaratne Dilshana and a lot of the series depends on them. Sangakkara had an outstanding test series and is likely to carry things in the same way. Also the young guns of Sri Lanka has come up with golden colours in recent times and a much will depend on them too. Lahiru Thirmanne and Dinesh Chandimal will be crucial. Coming to the bowling department of Sri Lankan team. Sri Lankan team has been majorly dependant on their spin bowling and at the moment, Rangana Herath is enjoying supremacy in the spin department. He had an outstanding Test series and has been amongst wickets. Also Suraj Randiv will assist him. Ajantha Mendis has been left out from the squad. And the pace department will be led by Lasith Malinga. Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara are the other pace options.
The Pakistan team has been struggling to find the perfect XI for quite sometime now. They will be looking forward for some incredible performances from their experienced hub including Shahid Khan Afridi, Younis Khan and the 40-year old captain, Misbah-ul-Haq himelf. Also, there has been quite a impressive young talents in the team in the form of Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal. The left handed batsman who was brought back in the international squad in the Asia Cup after 2009, Fawad Alam is also included in the squad. He played some brilliant innings in the Asia Cup which helped him find a spot. But this series will be a test for the opening pair as Pakistan has struggled to find a perfect opening pair. The bowling department of the team seems to be pretty much strong under the likes of Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Irfan. After incurring a 2-0 loss in the test series, Pakistan will surely look to grab a win in the series and they will be looking for a great start.
In this year, the two teams met 2 times in ODIs and Pakistan was defeated in each time. One was in the final of the Asia Cup. Surely, the visitors will hope to turn things their way and both teams will be looking to start off proceedings with a victory as it will ease of the pressure for the remaining series.
Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-capt), Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Rangana Herath, Dhammika Prasad, Thisara Perrera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Suraj Randiv, Lasith Malinga, Ashan Priyanjan, Seekkuge Prasanna
Misbah-ul-Haq, Ahmed Shehzad Junaid Khan, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Zulfiqar Babar, Sharjeel Khan, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Younis Khan.