Pakistan, Sri Lanka 1st ODI today
ODI COMBINATION IS GOOD, SAYS SARFRAZ: MORALE HIGH AFTER TEST SERIES WIN: THARANGA
NC Monitoring Desk
KARACHI: The first One Day International of five-match series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played at Dubai International Stadium today. Now, Pakistan is facing an ODI challenge after whitewash in two Test series against Sri Lanka. Sarfraz XI has made mistakes in batting and team selection in both matches of which he experienced defeat. 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. “Yes, I do hope that our fortunes also change with the change in format and players.” said Sarfraz, who announced that Faheem Ashraf, Imam, Usman Shinwari and Haris Sohail would sit out the first match. “We have a lot of hope from this team, which developed as a unit during the Champions Trophy,” he added. “Sri Lanka have a good team on paper, so this will be a good series.” “Our batsmen are getting good scores, so the combination is good,” said Sarfraz, whose team will stay at the sixth place on the ICC ODI table even if it sweeps the series 5-0. But if Sri Lanka achieves a 5-0 score-line in its favour, it will jump two places from its current eighth spot and replace Pakistan in sixth position. “We have to do our basics right,” said Upul Tharanga, who has been suspended twice on slow over-rate counts in his short captaincy stint. “Pakistan are the Champions Trophy winners, so they are a good side. We need to lift ourselves after losing a few series.” Malinga was left out of this series through poor form, while Angelo Mathews, the former skipper, continues to be on the injury list. “Unfortunately, Mathews and Malinga are not here but I am confident with the squad and if we keep the momentum of the Tests, then we can do well here,” said Tharanga. Match will start at 4:00pm PST.