Home > News >

Preview: Pakistan desperate to level series against Sri lanka

Players from both teams will be determined to give a victorious send-off their respective coaches © AFP
Players from both teams will be determined to give a victorious send-off their respective coaches © Getty Images

Sharjah: Jan 14, 2014

Pakistan will be desperate to get a helpful pitch for a series-levelling win against Sri Lanka in the third and final Test starting in Sharjah on Thursday.

Captain Misbah-ul Haq was frustrated over the two unresponsive pitches, the first in Abu Dhabi where Sri Lanka batted resolutely to salvage a draw and then in Dubai where a first-day seaming pitch undid Pakistan’s batting and later blunted their bowling.

Sri Lanka, helped by their new-look pace attack and a fighting century from their old campaigner Mahela Jayawardne recorded their biggest-ever win of nine wickets over Pakistan to take a 1-0 lead.

The lack of spin on the pitches reduced Pakistan’s match-winning bowler Saeed Ajmal into a mere-runner with only five wickets in two Tests so far and the look of the Sharjah stadium pitch suggests it will only turn on the last two days.

Sri Lanka posted a big 413-run total when the two teams played the last Test at the venue in November 2011 in a match which Pakistan only saved because of heavy rain on the final day on their way to a 1-0 series win.

Misbah admitted Pakistan’s chances of levelling the series largely depend on the pitch.

“It will totally depend on the conditions and what kind of a pitch we get,” said Misbah, who criticised the Dubai stadium pitch.

“Obviously, we didn’t get support from the pitch as per our strength, which is our spin bowling, and that is a worry for us,” said Misbah, whose team has lost four of their last 13 Tests against Sri Lanka with only one win and eight draws.

Pakistan will be forced to bring in a bowler in place of paceman Bilawal Bhatti who injured his hamstring during the second Test. He will either be replaced with fast bowler Mohammad Talha or left-armer Abdul Rehman, if Pakistan decide to play with two spinners.

Pakistan are also likely to tinker with their top-order batting with opener Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez —who both failed in Dubai—making way for Shan Masood or Azhar Ali.

Sri Lanka will have no such problems, hoping Jayawardene recover from a finger injury which did hamper his batting in the second Test.

“Unless the pitch is very different, I don’t think we need to make any changes. When we go into a Test match we take our best bowlers, so if someone gets injured, we can always bank on a back-up,” said Mathews who registered his first overseas win as captain in Dubai.

“If we look at the batsmen, even if four of them are wicketkeepers, they have done their jobs. I am sure Mahela will play,” said Mathews.

Besides the series win target, the sixth-placed Sri Lanka will replace Pakistan (currently fifth) in Test rankings if they win 2-0 in the series.

Both the teams will also try to give their coaches — Dav Whatmore of Pakistan and Graham Ford of Sri Lanka — a winning farewell as both leave their post after the match.

Teams:

Pakistan (Probable): Khurram Manzoor, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Bilawal Bhatti, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.

Sri Lanka (Probable): Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (c), Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.

Time:  10.00 local | 11.30 IST

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 3 at Southampton: Kohli, Rahane steady India

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Virat Kohli’s opportunity to find form

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Moeen Ali wears ‘Save Gaza’ band: Instances where cricketers made political statements on the field

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton Session 1: Hosts make early inroads

Stuart Broad puts England on top against India on Day 3 of 3rd Test at Southampton

Murali Vijay dismissed by Stuart Broad on Day 3 of India vs England, 3rd Test

Kedar Jadhav helps India A clinch victory against NPS

Cheteshwar Pujara dismissed early on Day 3 of India vs England, 3rd Test

Denesh Ramdin: Didn’t expect Sunil Narine to bowl Super Over maiden

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara — India’s most dependable partnership in recent times

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Virat Kohli’s opportunity to find form

Phil Hughes smashes List A double-ton: List of batsmen who have achieved same feat

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton Session 1: Hosts make early inroads

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Unlike Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan not hosting an Eid party!

Google Mapathon 2013 in India comes under CBI scrutiny

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Denesh Ramdin: Didn’t expect Sunil Narine to bowl Super Over maiden

Revealed: Iulia Vantur to attend Salman Khan’s Eid party!

Chinese hackers reportedly targeted defense firms that built Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Shield

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here