Sri Lanka tour to Pakistan 2019 [Preview]
Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour Pakistan in the month of September and October to play three one-day internationals and three-match T20I series. Pakistan Cricket Board has retained Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain for ODI and T20 format. Babar Azam has been named as a deputy to Sarfaraz for the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka.
The home side has yet to announce their ODI and T20 squad for the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will be focused to make sure that side can kick-start their home season on a positive note.
In the batting department, the side will be depending on the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Haris Sohail to deliver the bulk of the runs. Babar Azam has been in exceptional form and scored a lot of runs in the Vitality T20 Blast competition in England. He will be looking to continue his rich vein of form with the bat in this series.
During 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Haris Sohail enhanced his reputation as a high quality batsman with back-to-back terrific performances against South Africa and New Zealand. Left-hander has been a consistent performer for the side in limited-overs cricket and will be keen to continue his good form against Sri Lanka.
Pugnacious opener Fakhar Zaman will be looking to find form with the bat in this home series. Left-hander has struggled to produce runs with the bat so far this season and will be looking to find form in this game. Since January 2019, Zaman has scored 553 runs in 18 matches at an average of 30.72 with one century to his name.
Captain and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed will be keen to do well with the bat in this game. All-rounder Imad Wasim has been a consistent performer with bat and ball in limited-overs cricket.
In the bowling department, the side will be depending on the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir and Usman Khan Shinwari to do the bulk of the scoring. Shaheen Shah Afridi has proven to be a class performer for the side in one-day internationals. Left-arm quick has topped the bowling charts in white-ball cricket this season and claimed 27 wickets at an average of 22.88. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will be premier options for the side for this home series.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka announced their 15-man squad for three-match one-day series. The senior players like Dimuth Karunaratne, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Matthews, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella have withdrawn from the tour due to security concerns.
In the absence of experienced players, the side will be relying on Captain Lahiru Thiramanne, Avishka Fernando and Danushka Gunathilaka to do the bulk of the scoring.
Since the start of this year, Avishka Fernando has proven to be bankable and enhanced his reputation with the bat during the 2019 ICC Cricket World played in England and Wales. Fernando has accumulated 443 runs in 12 matches at an average of 36.91. He has scored one century and two half-centuries during this period. The 21-year old will be keen to make an impression with the bat in the ODI and T20I series against Pakistan.
Danushka Gunathilaka makes his return to limited-overs cricket after last making his appearance for Sri Lanka against New Zealand in January 2019. He will be looking to deliver runs for the side at the top of the innings in this ODI series.
Promising players like Shehan Jayasuriya, Oshada Fernando and Angelo Perera will looking to put in credible performances with the bat on their first trip to Pakistan.Sadeera Samarawickrama has picked as first-choice wicket-keeper for Sri Lanka for this three-match one-day series
In the all-rounders category, Dasun Shanaka and Isuru Udana will be given the responsibility to get big runs for the side in the later stages of the innings. Shanaka and Udana delivered excellent performances for Sri Lanka in the three-match one-day series played against Bangladesh.
Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara are three prominent pace options for this one-day series. Left-arm Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan and Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will be two main spinners for Sri Lanka for this three-match one-day series.
The visitors will kick-start their tour with three-match one-day series against Pakistan. The opening game will be played on 27th September at National Stadium in Karachi. The remaining two games will be played on 29th September and 3rd October at the same venue.
After the conclusion of one-day series, Sri Lanka will take on Pakistan in the three-match T20I series. The opening game will be played on 5th October at Gaddaffi Stadium in Lahore. The remaining two games will be played on 7th and 9th October respectively.