The T20 series was a let down as both teams won a match but now the teams move onto the ODI’s with the new rule changes. Pakistan remain favourites to win the ODI’s as they are more consistent in the ODI format than Sri Lanka. Lasith Malinga will prove to be crucial for Sri Lanka if they are to win and Mohammed Hafeez will be a key player for Pakistan.
June 7, Pallekele
Starting Time: 1430 Local Time (0900 GMT Time)
How the Teams Stand:
Both teams were quite poor in the T20’s which could be the lack of cricket over the past few months but it was very average. The ODI series is 5 matches long and both Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be looking to take the lead after the 1st match at the Pallekele. How Sri Lanka play could determine the result of the match, Sri Lanka have one of the best top four in world cricket plus Malinga but when they don’t perform Sri Lanka often find themselves in a lot of trouble. Pakistan will be aiming for early wickets to get into the middle order of Sri Lanka early on.
Lasith Malinga vs Mohammed Hafeez
Lasith Malinga has been a very dangerous bowler for Sri Lanka and is a weapon for Sri Lanka and can basically win a game on his shoulders. Mohammed Hafeez has had a similar role to Malinga but instead with the bat, over the past year Pakistan cricket has gained a lot of reputation as a good youthful team. Hafeez did not impress during the T20’s with a golden duck and 24 off 34. Malinga has played in the IPL and did not feature in the T20’s but he did not look in form during the later part of the IPL but Sri Lanka need him to perform.
Malinga and Mahela Jaywardene should be recalled after being rested for the T20’s.
Misbah Ul-haq will also return and captain the Pakistan team while Mohammed Sami is a possibility of making a return. Asad Shafiq should come into the XI and so should Aizaz Cheema and Younis Khan.