Sri Lanka Squad:
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Capt), Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis, Kosala Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dilhara Fernando, Suraj Randiv.
Pakistan Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq.
With each match, Pakistan under the leadership of Misbah-ul-Haq seem to be improving by leaps and bounds. From a team that had the tendency to collapse under its own weight to the present day combination that is motivated enough to make a comeback from any position, the transformation has been gradual but perceptible. The fighting spirit that Pakistan showed even when Sri Lanka were going well in the last match was enough to suggest that it would be hard for other teams to overcome the talented side in near future. Even though, Pakistan’s batting wobbled after a brilliant 151 run opening partnership, the bowlers were up to the task of defending the middling total. Going by their recent performances, they have one of the most varied attacks with excellent new ball bowlers like Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Tanvir and two wily spinners, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. Throw in the mix the off-spin of Hafeez and Abdul Razzaq’s useful medium pace and you have a complete bowling line-up.
On the contrary, Sri Lanka have struggled to string together consistent performances on a regular basis. Talking about their batting, the big guns have not fired in unison for a long time now. As a result, match-wining positions have been surrendered, with even the fringe batsmen failing to deliver under pressure. Sri Lankan batting has to turn things around sooner than later otherwise their number three ranking in one-dayers is going to be a thing of past.
Among bowlers, Lasith Malinga has shown what he is capable of but only in patches. Since he is leader of their attack, he is the one expected to deliver both as senior man in the team as the main strike bowler. Dilhara Fernando’s expensive bowling is doing more harm than good to the team’s prospects. With the series on line in the fourth ODI, Sri Lanka would most certainly try some new faces.