Pakistan the more formidable side:
Lankans looking to reverse Asia Cup defeats
With the Twenty20 two match series shared, Sri Lanka and Pakistan
will lock horns in the first of five one day, day night internationals
beginning at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium today at
Sri Lankaís previous bash in the one-day format in the Asia Cup in
Bangladesh ended in disaster with the team failing to enter the finals
being also stuffed by Pakistan.
The Lankans started the Twenty20 in ruthless fashion, but squandered
it all by resting their ruthless skipper thus gifting the second game.
So one cannot expect the Lankans to be ruthless again.
So in this series, while Sri Lanka will be looking to avenge those
defeats, Pakistan, now that they have raised their game by squaring the
Twent20 series, will be determined to build on the success in Bangladesh
where they won the Asia Cup.
According to reports the curator has been hard at work on the wicket
and indications are that the wicket will play even with help to bowlers
as well as batsmen.
The side winning the toss and batting will be at an advantage,
because there is the possibility of the dew setting in and making it
difficult for bowlers to grip the wet ball.
Fifty over cricket is a different ball game to the Twenty20 bash.
Here the bowlers have more overs to bowl and the batsmen more overs to
face. The team having the players best suited for this style of game
should call the shots.
With their success gained in Bangladesh, the Pakistanis go out
favourites and if they play true to form can continue to dominate,
although the Lankans will have the home advantage.
The Pakistanis will have their regular skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to show
them how. From the time he was appointed, he has shown good leadership
qualities and has been chiefly instrumental in making Pakistan a team to
be reckoned with.
The visitors will be further strengthened with the inclusion of
former Pakistan captain and punishing batsman Younis Khan. Khan has the
ideal temperament and should enjoy himself with a bag full of runs.
Mohamme Hafeez who did not have a good run as captain in the Twnty20
will now be free to put his wide array f strokes on display and give his
team a sound start to build on.
Big hitting Sahid Afridi who was allowed into form in the second
Twenty20 and who blazed away to a match winning half century and won the
man-of-the-match award, if allowed to prosper could devastate the Lankan
bowling. Umar Akmal is another batting maestro to watch.
The bowling will be spearheaded by Sohail Tanvir and Umar Gul, with
the tantalizing and mesmerizing spin of Saeed Ajmal and Mohamed Hafeez
Sri Lanka will be praying for skipper Mahela Jayawardene,
Tillekeratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga
and Angelo Mathews to pile on the runs.
In bowling Nuwan Kulasekera, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews will
have to shock the early Pakistani batsmen into submission for Rangana
Herath if he plays and Sachitra Senanayake to continue the damage.
Skipper Jayawardene is a great admirer of Thisara Perera. He will be
relying heavily on him to perform the all rounderís role as a match
winner. If Perera is to live up to the expectations that Jayawardena has
in him, he must be given the all important continuity to be consistent.
Over then to a blockbuster of a five match one day international
series and may the captain of the better side hold aloft the trophy at
the conclusion of the series. Pallekelle Stadium, Wednesday.