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

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

World T20 League 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 1st semi-final: KKR win by 7 wickets

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Hobart Hurricanes India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders

Live Streaming: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings(CSK), 2nd Semi final, CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab(KXIP), 2nd Semi final, CLT20 2014

Virat Kohli and Harbhajan singh congratulate Indian Hockey team after they win gold at Asian Games

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Hobart Hurricanes by 7 wickets to qualify for CLT20 2014 final

Live Scorecard: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014

CSK vs KXIP CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Chennai bowling under pressure

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

Australia’s ODI team faces a dilemma for the first time in 30 years

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Virat Kohli and Harbhajan singh congratulate Indian Hockey team after they win gold at Asian Games

Loss of sense of smell in older people could predict death within 5 years

NGOs pursue education for all

Expert tips to keep your eyes healthy

International programme in Animal Husbandry

No better homage to Gandhi on his birthday: Amit Shah on Clean India campaign

Apple now has a tool for users to check Activation Lock status on used iOS devices

Live Cricket Score: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab(KXIP), 2nd Semi final, CLT20 2014

LG webOS-powered smartwatch reportedly in the works

The Shaukeens song Alcoholic: Akshay Kumar and Yo Yo Honey Singh’s track is an anthem for the drinkers!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here