After winning the Test series 2-0 against a severely depleted Pakistan, Sri Lanka’s tour has disintegrated in spectacular fashion. They lost the ODI series 5-0, crossing 200 in only two of those matches, and both times they finished lower than 210. With most of their squad refusing to tour Pakistan for the third T20, they will now play with an even weaker squad.
Mohammad Amir returns to the squad for Pakistan, further bolstering an already strong bowling attack. They have been clinical throughout the ODI series, convincingly beating the Sri Lankans in every match. Can Sri Lanka somehow rescue their horrendous tour, or will Pakistan continue to dominate the Lankans
Thisara Perera (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chaturanga de Silva, Minod Bhanuka
Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Usman Khan, Umar Amin
Where the Teams Stand
If the series had not lost all its relevance during the ODI series, it has now before the T20s. It would not be audacious to suspect that the only reason this leg of the tour is going ahead as scheduled is to maintain healthy relations with the PCB, financially and politically. With such a squad, Sri Lanka have close to no hope of pulling off something spectacular. Then again, the same was being said of the ODI squad with all the so-called big players. At RealSport, we suggested a complete overhaul of the squad not too long ago as a last resort to Sri Lanka’s problems since the then current squad were ineffective. One can only hope that the current batch surprises us.
Sri Lanka’s bowling attack is largely the same from the ODI series, comprising Gamage, Vandersay, Prasanna, Fernando, and possibly Isuru Udana. Perera himself will also be a crucial part of the attack. Part-time medium pacer Gunathilaka might also be used if needed. The batting order remains a mystery, given that all the batsmen can equally produce runs. Perera has a tough job on his hands as captain, and he seems doomed to failure.
Pakistan seem set for another walkover. Where Sri Lanka have suffered a massive downgrade in their squad, Pakistan’s team has only become stronger by Amir’s inclusion in the squad. The international net practice session is only bound to continue if the squads are any sign. Pakistan don’t look like they will tinker much with their first eleven. Why try to fix something that isn’t broken?
Babar Azam will once again be the one to watch out for given his consistency in the ODIs. Shoaib Malik is another batsman who will surely be entertaining to watch given his aggressive style of batting. As for the rest, this is a good opportunity for Sarfraz Ahmed to get runs under his belt. The captain has struggled with the bat throughout the series, and this is the perfect time for him to capitalise. The same applies to Ahmed Shehzad, who was dropped during the ODI series. Pakistan are bound to continue to win.
Will Sri Lanka return to winning ways in the shortest format, or will Pakistan continue their dominance? Let us know in the comments below.
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