Dubai - Pakistan are counting on a change in format and players to overcome a resurgent Sri Lanka in the five-match one-day series starting in Dubai from Friday.
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.
They only have skipper
Sarfraz Ahmed, batsmen Haris Sohail and Babar Azam and fast bowler Hasan Ali
from the Test series, while experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and opener
Ahmed Shahzad amongst the 11 who joined the squad.
Ahmed feels the pressure of
losing his first Test series but promised a better performance in the limited
"Obviously, when you
have a first Test series as captain, and you lose it, pressure will be
there," said Ahmed who played a match winning 61 not out against Sri Lanka
in the Champions Trophy group match.
"But we will try and get
out of that. Our one-day team is balanced and our record is very good. We will
have some senior players returning and I hope we'll play better cricket."
Pakistan also have a young crop
of fast emerging players in opener Fakhar Zaman - who hit a century in the
Champions Trophy final against India - leg-spinner Shadab Khan, all-rounders
Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf, and pacers Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan and Usman
Spearhead Mohammad Amir was
ruled out of the series with a shin injury sustained in the second Test in
Pakistan's loss in the Test
series was their first in United Arab Emirates in 10 attempts since they were
forced to play at a neutral venue amidst security fears sparked after 2009
terrorists' attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
But their one-day record in
UAE has been abysmal, having lost nine of the 12 series since 2009, only
winning twice against Sri Lanka and once against the West Indies.
Sri Lanka have come from
wretched one-day form, having lost 16 of their last 21 games, winning four with
one no result. That included a 5-0 whitewash against South Africa and India and
first-ever series defeat against minnows Zimbabwe.
That defeat against India
last month put pressure on skipper Upul Tharanga.
"We lacked consistency.
We didn't bat, bowl or field well. We were outplayed by India. I am
disappointed with our batting effort," said Tharanga whose team failed to
reach 250 in any of the matches.
The remaining matches are in
Abu Dhabi (October 16 and 18) and Sharjah (October 20 and 23). Three Twenty20
matches will follow the ODIs, two in Abu Dhabi (October 26 and 27) and the last
in Lahore (October 29).
Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shahdab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Usman Shinwari, Ruman Raees, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq
Upul Tharanga (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella,Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Seekuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay
Umpires: Sundaram Ravi (IND) and Ahsan Raza (PAK)
Tv umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
ICC match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)