Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > News >

Asia Cup 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Preview: Young confident Pakistan begin quest for title defence

Pakistan will be eyeing victory in the first match against Sri Lanka © AFP
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be well aware of each others’ strengths and weaknesses since they faced each other in an ODI series very recently © AFP

 

By Abhijit Banare

 

Feb 24, 2014

 

With just over a week separating the Asia Cup final and the start of  ICC World T20 2014, all the five teams of the Asia Cup will be eyeing to polish their playing XI in the 50-over format to excel in the T20s. The Asia Cup commences with Pakistan and Sri Lanka playing at Fatullah. The two teams had recently played a five-match One-Day International (ODI) series in UAE.

 

While Pakistan bagged the series against Lanka, both teams will be confident of their performance after the Lankans whitewashed Bangladesh just two days ago.

 

The exciting aspect for both teams is that there are many new players who have shown some promise to sustain the team’s fortunes for the future. Pakistan have got a stable opening pair with Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad. Junaid Khan with his pace has been on an exceptional run. Mohammad Hafeez who has had an erratic 2013 in Tests was a completely different player in the ODIs. Pakistan’s ODI side has shaped up well after a poor run in the first half of 2013.

 

Apart from the above, Bilawal Bhatti has been a promising find. Potentially, Pakistan’s replacement to Abdur Razzaq, Bhatti has impressed with his all-round skills since his debut. And in the end, the saviour Misbah-ul-Haq has stood rock solid through the different phases Pakistan cricket has gone through recently. Shahid Afridi though has been in some discomfort after the jaw injury but is likely to be fit in time for the match. Pakistan look like a confident unit good enough to defend the title as the champions in Asia. The big confidence booster came after the series win in South Africa followed by the win against Sri Lanka.

 

As far as the Sri Lankan camp is concerned, there could be nothing better than a clean sweep against the Asia Cup hosts Bangladesh. They also played for the first time without old warhorses Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in the final ODI for the first time since 1998. Dilshan though will miss the Asia Cup as well due to a finger injury. Sangakkara and Jayawardene return thereby bringing a reassuring feel to the middle order. Skipper Angelo Mathews finally appears settled into his role of leading the side and playing the finishing role down the order with the bat. One of the better news for the Lankans has been that of Kusal Perera. After much fanfare about his Jayasuriya-like batting style, Perera failed miserably and his temperament too was in doubt. He quelled those doubts with a ton in the final match against Bangladesh.

 

With Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga and Dhammika Prasad (called in as replacement for injured Nuwan Kulasekara), the Lankans seem to be doing well in the bowling department with Ajantha Mendis likely to add to the spin variety in the absence of Rangana Herath.

 

The series win over Sri Lanka early this year, gives Pakistan the edge in the encounter. But given the young side of the two teams, there is still the unpredictable feel to the match. A stiff encounter to kick start the Asia Cup.

 

Squads:

 

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Fawad Alam, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal (wk), Umar Gul

 

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Ashan Priyanjan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.

 

Time: 8:00 GMT I 13:30 IST

 

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed onTwitterandblog)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RR vs CSK 2014 Sanju Samson Sunrisers Hyderabad Suresh Raina

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians look for win against confident Chennai Super Kings

Ali Bacher backs AB de Villiers as next Test captain

Sachin Tendulkar votes in Lok Sabha elections

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar — The lesser known records

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Salman Khan beats Hrithik Roshan to be voted Bollywood’s fittest actor!

Samsung’s unannounced 7-inch phablet leaked online

Did Kareena Kapoor shy away from voting?

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Facebook CFO David Ebersman to bid adieu

Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta, Mahesh Bhatt, Ritesh Deshmukh among others cast their vote

9 factors that increase your risk for HIV

Also on cricketcountry.com