Can the New-look Pakistan Side-Defeat Sri Lanka?


Can the New-look Pakistan Side-Defeat Sri Lanka?

New captain, new kit and new T20 venue … Pakistan cricket team will take the field against Sri Lanka tonight with everything new. But does that mean that Sri Lanka will have the upper hand since it is their battlefield, and they have soldiers who have done it all? That’s a million dollar question because tried and tested usually don’t do well against the unexpected, and with Pakistan, anything’s possible.

 

Pakistan cricket team may not have the services of Test and ODI captain Misbah ul Haq who has been an integral part in T20 matches for the last 5 years, but there are some exciting cricketers who on their day can dominate the opposition as well as destroy their confidence. They have the edge over the hosts because the players have had ample rest since winning the Asia Cup earlier this year, and have trained and practiced well under coach Dav Whatmore, who knows Sri Lanka like the back of his hand. Whatmore was the coach of the Sri Lankan side who managed to win the World Cup in 1996, and he will use his experience to plan out a well-thought strategy for the greenshirts. Or is it the greyshirts? Pakistan cricket team will don a new kit which will have more grey and less green in it. One hopes that the players who don it come out victorious, just like they did when they unveiled their last kit during the World Cup in 2011, at this very same Hambantota.

 

As for the Sri Lankans, some of the players including skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga may have the advantage of playing in the recently concluded Indian Premier League but most of the players haven’t had much to do recently. The players will have to be at their best because the weather in Sri Lanka during June and July is punishing at the most for cricket. Add the lack of match practice and you get 11 players playing as a team rather than a team playing as a unit!

 

The spinners will undoubtedly hold the key in Sri Lankan conditions, and Pakistan has the bowlers to do it. Be it Mohammad Hafeez off-spin, Saeed Ajmal’s doosra, Abdur Rehman’s left-arm spin or Shahid Afridi’s variation, team Pakistan has the advantage ahead of the first encounter. Lets hope the new man behind the wickets Shakeel Ansar as well as the youngsters in the side manage to justify their place in the side by going one-up in unfamiliar territories.



Omair Alavi

A member of the Geo News team and writing articles on sports and entertainment since 1995.


  • Mohammed Asif Siddiqi

    What really shocks me is that Pakistan cricket team cant even chase totals in excess of 120 plus in Twenty20 cricket. This is a big shame on the batsmen of Pakistan cricket team. You should be favourites while chasing scores as low as 126 in Abu Dhabi against England and 132 here in Hambantota against Sri Lanka and still we fail to chase down such totals. Also I think our batting line up lacks experience and they have many openers like Malik, Khalid Latif , Ahmed Shehzad and Hafeez in one batting line up.

  • Bitter Truth

    When I heard 1st time that Hafiz is leading the team and Shahid Afridi & Shoaib Malik will be performing under his Captaincy – “ham hans diye, ham choop rahe, manzoor tha perda tera”. It is not only joke but I don’t know what they are trying to do & to the world chance is being given to laugh !!! I don’t have anything personally with Hafiz, he is a good player, performed as an average player in the past and in the future we can expect much more from him. But here questions arising in the mind that Afridi is a world record holder, best performer, when he plays our team won several times, why hasn’t been given chance to lead the team ??? any personal jealousy like Ijaz BUT who had said after selection of team that Afridi has no Place in the team. Another sixer by Ijaz But, gave the chance to the world to laugh !!!!!! Afridi was the man of the match in last T20. Another thing if they don’t like Afridi by any reason why they didn’t give chance to Shoaib Malik, under his captaincy Sialkot won several times Local T20 tournament ????????

  • S Nasrullah

    The game of glorious uncertainties excels itself on the unpredictable outcomes. On a given day Nazir Imran, Saeed Anwar, Afridi, Miandad, or Zaheer Abbas could use the long handle to score brisk centuries and in the process drive the bowlers into a repetitive Error Mode. Even the best of bowlers lose not only their line and length, but their tranquility and their tempers. Many years ago, I was in England and watching the Gillette Cup Final where two Cricketing Giants, Imran Khan and Viv Richards were facing each other. King Richards (Viv was popularly called) struck Imran for three consecutive boundaries in one over and the Camera focused on a peeved Imran, who was apparently most unhappy the way he was treated so shabbily. He looked hard at Viv and returned to his bowling steps. He took two extra steps with a leap on the last one and turned around with his mane flowing in the breeze and delivered a missile like delivery which Richards could not only read but was flustered and tamely tried to push it forward. The ball kissed the inner edge of his bat and turned viciously in to knock his middle stump off the ground. Imran jumped up in the air and punched it to remind Richards that from sublime to ridiculous is but one step.

    Pakistani cricketers are known for their short tempers more than their stable temperaments. The new team has a mix of proven and potential abilities. Whether they click as one fighting unit or go down as loose bonded batch of egotists, the time will tell. Having lost the first encounter, there is hope they would regroup and perform much better to balance the deficit. Let me hasten to add here that I love the Biblical saying: ” expect ye not, for thou shalt not be disappointed”.