ABU DHABI: Rival captains Sarfraz Ahmed and Dinesh Chandimal hope the upcoming two-Check sequence between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will give them a brand new starting with the primary match beginning right here on Thursday.
Pakistan wish to flip the web page after the retirement of their two greats Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq whereas Sri Lanka will look to raise their current poor exhibiting within the longer format.
Enjoying with out Younis and Misbah is unaccustomed territory for Pakistan, who haven’t had a Check that includes neither of the talismanic, prolific pair in seven years.
However Sarfraz, who will lead Pakistan for the primary time in Exams, is assured that his crew will avail the primary alternative.
“Clearly, you could have two nice gamers who had been taking part in persistently however it’s a must to transfer on,” Sarfraz stated on Wednesday. “Now we have to recollect the disciplines [of Younis and Misbah] and no matter they instructed us needs to be carried out on the sector and begin afresh.”
Collectively, Younis and Misbah have appeared in 193 Exams, accumulating 15,331 runs, 44 centuries and 15 century stands between them, briefly lifting the crew to the highest of the Check rankings in August final 12 months.
They’ve dominated the batting at Pakistan’s venues in United Arab Emirates (UAE), the place they’ve been pressured to play house video games since a lethal terrorist assault on the Sri Lankan crew bus in Lahore in 2009.
The pair made Pakistan so invincible that they haven’t misplaced any of the 9 sequence they’ve performed in UAE.
Sarfraz has already led Pakistan in One-day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationwide and guided his crew to ICC Champions Trophy title for the primary time this 12 months.
“That is my first alternative as captain in Exams, so I can be up for that problem and my gamers are additionally as much as that and are very excited at this prospect.”
Pakistan will use skilled batsman Azhar Ali at quantity three after he opened the innings within the final 12 months and can promote Asad Shafiq from six to 4.
“Now we have strengthened our center order and I’m assured that Azhar, Asad and Babar Azam can be as much as the duty to enrich the batting,” stated Sarfraz who himself has scored three Check lots of.
Sarfraz stated his crew won’t underestimate the opponents.
“Their crew seems good,” Sarfraz stated about Sri Lanka. “They’ve [Lahiru] Thirimanne and Kaushal Silva again so each the groups are younger and I feel it will likely be a great sequence.”
Chandimal believes Sri Lanka have the expertise to enhance after being thrashed Three-Zero at house by India final month.
“From that final sequence we learnt quite a bit, particularly we’ve got achieved extra work on our health and fielding. All we have to win is one recreation and every thing will fall into place,” stated Chandimal, whose crew has misplaced seven of their final 9 Exams, together with one towards Bangladesh.
In addition they got here near shedding to minnows Zimbabwe in July earlier than pulling off an in depth win.
Chandimal stated they’ll profit from the retirement of Younis and Misbah.
“Really we will have an excellent benefit as a result of the primary two batsmen should not there of their batting unit however we should step up in our efficiency as a unit and we’ve got one thing in our powers to do this.”
Azhar was unsure for the primary Check right here on the Sheikh Zayed Stadium after struggling a knee damage however he has since responded effectively to therapy, whereas Yasir Shah will lead the spin assault in a squad with 5 quick bowlers.
Yasir, who took 24 wickets in Pakistan’s 2-1 sequence win in Sri Lanka two years in the past, can be assisted by uncapped spinners Mohammad Asghar and Bilal Asif.
Sri Lanka can be with out their key all-rounder and former captain Angelo Mathews, who has been dominated out of the primary Check with a calf pressure.
However they are going to be buoyed by the return of their tempo spearheads Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal, who suffered accidents final month.
Nevertheless, their fundamental hope of profitable the two-match sequence seems more likely to hinge on veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who has 90 wickets in 19 Exams towards Pakistan.
If Sri Lanka win the sequence they’ll rise one place to sixth in Check rankings whereas Pakistan will go down one place to seventh.
Pakistan’s sequence win will preserve them on their present spot of sixth.
PAKISTAN: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz.
SRI LANKA: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage.
Umpires: Ian Gould (England) and Nigel Llong (England).
TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (England).
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe).
Printed in Daybreak, September 28th, 2017