Without any stars, Sri Lanka-Pakistan series still to make history
The best likely outcome to make the history of Friday’s one-day international with Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the National Stadium would be a mismatch. Moreover, that too if the wet weather, which threatens to affect the game, do not play the sport of dispossession.
The Sri Lankan arrived in Pakistan without almost all their main players, including Dimuth Karunaratne. Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, and Angelo Mathews, who leads the visiting team, is not a first-choice player for Sri Lanka. Against a full team from Pakistan, tourists are likely simply aggressors.
But even such a bleak scenario will not affect the importance of today. That’s because it will be Karachi’s first ODI in almost a decade.
Today’s game will also be the beginning of what will be the longest trip of an international team to Pakistan since 2009.
Sri Lanka – Pakistan
History will be made on Friday,” says skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad, who lead Pakistan in the series after surviving a jolt back to the World Cup, which resulted in the expulsion of several players and officials, including the head coach Mickey Arthur.
The series will be the first test for new head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, the former captain of Pakistan, who expects his team to enjoy a walk in the park against an exhausted Sri Lankan team in the three-game ODI series that concludes on October 2.
Although Sri Lanka has sent its second string for the series, Pakistanis have chosen to include almost all of their best players on the team. They are likely to open with Imam-ul-Haq, and Fakhar Zaman and Asif Ali expected to return to the eleven games after a World bad. Pacer Usman Shinwari is also likely to play.
It’s been raining in Karachi in the last few days, which means the game could be affected by a damp garden. The wicket could help the sealers, but it should still be a friendly batting pitch.
The remaining ODI to play on Sunday and Wednesday at the National Stadium.
After the series ODI, the two sides will travel to Lahore to play three Twenty20 Internationals the 5, 7 and 9 October.
Pakistan: Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain and wk), and Asif Ali,
Sri Lanka: Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Thirimanne (captain), Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama (week), Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, and Dasun Shanaka.