DUBAI: The first day and night One Day International of five-match series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played in Dubai today (Friday). The match will begin at 4:00 pm (PST).
Pakistan are counting on a change in format and players to overcome a resurgent Sri Lanka in today’s ODI.
Pakistan were upset 2-0 in the preceding Test series but they are hoping to change their fortunes and carry the limited over form which helped them win the eight-nation Champions Trophy held in England in June this year.
They only have skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, batsmen Haris Sohail and Babar Azam and fast bowler Hasan Ali from the Test series, while experienced allrounder Mohammad Hafeez and opener Ahmed Shahzad amongst the 11 who joined the squad.
Pakistan also have a young crop of fast emerging players in opener Fakhar Zaman — who hit a century in the Champions Trophy final against India — leg-spinner Shadab Khan, allrounders Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf, and pacers Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan and Usman Shinwari.
Spearhead Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the series with a shin injury sustained in the second Test in Dubai.
Pakistan’s loss in the Test series was their first in United Arab Emirates in 10 attempts since they were forced to play at a neutral venue amidst security fears sparked after 2009 terrorists’ attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
But their one-day record in UAE has been abysmal, having lost nine of the 12 series since 2009, only winning twice against Sri Lanka and once against the West Indies.
Here’s the full squad:
1. Ahmed Shehzad
2. Fakhar Zaman
3. Mohammad Hafeez
4. Babar Azam
5. Shoaib Malik
6. Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain)
7. Imad Wasim
8. Shadab Khan
9. Faheem Ashraf
10. Hasan Ali
11. Mohammed Amir
12. Rumman Raees
13. Junaid Khan
14. Haris Sohail
Catch the live updates of the first ODI of the series here