Home > News >

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 1st Test at Galle Preview: Hosts aim to send-off Mahela Jayawardene in style

Misbah-ul-Haq (left) and Angelo Mathews face off in after the battle in the UAE earlier this year © Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq (left) and Angelo Mathews face off again after the battle in the UAE earlier this year © Getty Images

By Sandipan Banerjee

Aug 5, 2014

Sri Lanka and Pakistan will face each other at Galle on Wednesday to commence yet another Test series between these two Asian giants. This is going to be the sixth Test series between them since 2008. The upcoming two-match Test series was not part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP). It was finalized only after the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) special request to accommodate more matches for Misbah-ul-Haq’s team.

Pakistan is looking for their first series win since defeating England in the UAE in 2012. The biggest worry for the team management is that Pakistan haven’t played Test cricket in last six months. Their last match in the longer format of the game was against Sri Lanka in United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year. Though the players have undergone a conditioning camp to prepare for this tour, there was no alternative of match practice. The players will be rusty in the start of the series. Captain Misbah recently admitted that.

Off late, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made some changes in coaching set-up. Waqar Younis has been recalled as the head coach and Zimbabwean Grant Flower was appointed as batting coach. Pakistan have dropped Mohammad Hafeez and recalled Umar Akmal in the Test squad. Interestingly, Akmal last represented Pakistan in Test matches three years ago. He will face tough competition from Asad Shafiq for a place in the playing eleven.

In the bowling department, Saeed Ajmal will be Pakistan’s key on the spin-friendly Galle track. But he has to be well supported by Abdur Rehman and the pacers Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz.

For hosts Sri Lanka, it is an emotional time as Mahela Jayawardene is playing his last series. Jayawardene, one of the greats of the modern game recently retired from Twenty20 internationals (T20I) after Sri Lanka’s title-winning campaign in the ICC World T20 2014. Now after this series he will quit the longer format of game. Averaging 50.09 in Tests, Jayawardene will be remembered for his swift touch play.

Sri Lanka have made just two changes from their 15 member squad, which recently lost the home Test series against South Africa 0-1. They left out wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal and spinner Ajantha Mendis from the 15-member squad. In comes their one of the heroes of England series, fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep. He missed the recent South Africa Test series due to injury and youngster Niroshan Dickwella keeps his place as the specialist wicketkeeper. Shaminda Eranga has been included, but they have fitness issues.  Suranga Lakmal has been ruled out due to injury.

It is going to be fascinating to watch out the battle between Rangana Herath and Saeed Ajmal. On a spin friendly wicket, against players who play spin really well, it will be a test of characters for both Herath and Ajmal. The second match of the series will be played at Jayawardene’s favourite Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), Colombo. Keeping the occasion and recent performances in mind the hosts will start the Test series as favourites. But Pakistan won’t be far behind.

Squads:

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thrimanne (vc), Kaushal Silva, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Chanaka Welegedara, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep.

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (w), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Mohammad Talha, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz.

Time: 10:00 IST | 04:30 GMT

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI

Videos

Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test in Dubai Preview: Motivated Pakistan look to hurt rusty Australia

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 at Dubai

WICB seek meeting with BCCI to minimise damage

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Duleep Trophy Semi-Final, Central Zone vs North Zone: Players to watch out for

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Boyfriend Vs. Parents — Call In The Referee ‘Paging Pri’

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Drink ginger tea to relieve a migraine naturally

Allocate spectrum to telcos within 90 days after payment: Panel

How BMI and BMR play a role in weight loss

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s double standards; Puneet Issar’s aggressive avatar

Box Cricket League 2014: All you need to know about the sports reality show

Indian Painting Exhibit Kicks off at Quebec City

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here