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 Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Australia Bangladesh England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes’ death: Delhi players demand better equipment in wake of tragedy

Phillip Hughes passes away: Cricket helmet pioneer Dennis Amiss hopes for better protection

Phillip Hughes would’ve wanted the 1st Test between India and Australia to happen, says Ian Chappell

Phil Hughes passes away: Sean Abbott gets global support

Phil Hughes’ death: Cricket community extends support to Sean Abbott

Phil Hughes and other cricketers who succumbed to on-field injuries

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: When Will the Supreme Court make the whole Mudgal report public?

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Yo Yo Honey Singh goes into depression? His whereabouts unknown!

इबोला प्रायोगिक दवा के प्रयोग के नतीजे सकारात्मक आए

Shocking: Priyanka Chopra’s property a part of a sex racket?

Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Aamir Khan to share stage with Rajat Sharma to celebrate 21 years of Aap Ki Adaalat!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Kanika Maheshwari aka Meenakshi of Diya Aur Baati Hum: Gautam needs to control his anger a little

सुपरमॉडल केट का क्रिसमस के लिए ब्यूटी टिप्स

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here