Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 1st T20 Preview
The Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2012 starting with 1st Twenty20 Cricket Match which will begin will begin on 1St June 2012. The tour includes one more T20, 5 ODIs and 3 test matches. The duration of this series is nearly 6 weeks. Sri Lanka will host the 1st match in this tour of Pakistan vs Sri Lanka. Both the teams have brand new squad and have injected youngsters to their sides.
The Sri Lankans have returned a vastly improved side from their exploits in South Africa and Australia last season and will look to kick-start the new season with renewed optimism and hope.Their youngsters Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera and Upul Tharanga have shown a great deal of promise and professional skills in the past series. Although Sri Lankan team has gone through some shocking defeats in recent past, but by and by they were able to regains their confidence. They have the capability to display a tough resistance to relatively young players of Pakistan. But saying all this, the responsibility still lies on the shoulders of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and skipper Mahela Jayawardene. These seasoned players can pose a real threat to any team. Having the advantage of home ground as well as home crowd, they have all likely-hood to win the series. Tillakaratne Dilshan will probably open with the classy Mahela Jayawardene at the top of the order while Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal are likely to occupy the No.3 and No.4 slots for this game. Number five place is a fit one for Angelo Mathews who has been playing at the place in many matches. If top order fails to deliver, he can consolidate the middle order. Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara are the best pace bowlers. Especially the Yorkers of L Malinga are always a nightmare for any batsman in the world.
Pakistan has infused some new youngsters into the team. While Sri Lanka is planning to convert its younger generation into professional players before the World Cup 2012. Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed Mohammad Hafeez as the new captain for T20. He will possibly start the innings with Ahmed Shahzad who has already shown his skills in BPL this year. Nasir Jamshed has already gone out of the squad due to his injury and this is a big occasion for Ahmed Shahzad to occupy a permanent place in Pakistan cricket team. Umar Akmal and Boom Boom Afridi are also into the squad. Umar Akmal has gained a lot of experience and he may be called a senior batsman of the team. All rounder Shahid Afridi has established himself as one of the best bowlers in cricket. However still people are not ready to forget the taste of his aggressive batting and they will expect some exceptional batting performance from him. Shoaib Malik and Hammad Azam are there to strengthen the middle order. The inclusion of seasoned all-rounder Yasir Arafat will reinforce both the batting and bowling side of the team. Pakistan has always been looked as the best bowlers producing country in the world. In this series, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal will play a crucial role for the victory of their team. Mohammed Sami and Sohail Tanvir are tested bowlers and will be a great support for Umar Gul. On paper Pakistan is a well balanced squad and has a great potential of sweeping the series. However all depends how they are able to actualize this potential against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Squad : Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper), Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana
Pakistan Squad : Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Sami, Raza Hasan, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shakeel Ansar (wicketkeeper), Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Nasir Jamshed.