It's time for a new dawn for Pakistan Cricket as country's National Stadium in Karachi is all set to host an ODI after ten years. Teams have been reluctant to visit Pakistan since the militant attack on Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 in Lahore. And, now the same side is visiting Pakistan in what could be considered a step to revive international cricket in the country.
“History will be made on Friday when Karachi will host the first ODI. We must thank the Sri Lankan team for touring us,” said Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan skipper.
The three-match ODI series begins today afternoon in Karachi. The hosts will be favorites against a depleted Sri Lankan side which looks like a more of “B” team after 10 players pulled out of the tour citing security reasons. In the 15-member Sri Lankan squad, 14 players have an international experience while there's just one uncapped player – left-handed batsman Minod Bhanuka.
So, while most of the first-choice players have backed out, here's how Sri Lanka can line up today-
Sri Lanka probable line-up-
Lahiru Thirimane who had complained of back pain ahead of the tour is most likely to lead the side. He last skippered Sri Lanka in 2015. Sadeera Samarawickrama will keep the wickets while the visitors might look for Nuwan Pradeep's experience in the bowling attack. Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka and Isuru Udana can provide the right balance to line up through contributing with both bat and ball
Lahiru Thirimanne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep
Also read: SL vs PAK Dream11 Match Prediction
Now, let's have a look at Pakistan's probable line-up –
Pakistan probable line-up-
The most experienced Shoaib Malik has already bid adieu. Pakistan management has shown faith in Sarfraz Ahmed's captaincy despite failing to make it to the WC semi-finals. The young-pacer Shaheen Afridi has a bout of dengue and is unavailable. Asif Ali had a great outing in the two WC games and is likely to strengthen the middle order. Only Wahab Riaz has the experience of playing in Pakistan and might form the pace attack along with M Amir and Shinwari
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari
The weather forecast suggests a cloudy with a few sunny spells along with the gentle breeze. The chasing side has won four of the last six ODIs here. So, expect the toss-winning side to bowl first.