Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2019, 1st Test: Preview, predicted XI, head-to-head stats, live streaming, weather forecast and pitch report
After a span of 10 long years Test cricket finally returns to the shores of Pakistan, with Sri Lanka agreeing to tour for a two-match Test series. Having played a limited overs series earlier this year, the tourists will now arrive with a full-fledged squad featuring most of their Test regulars.
The series promises to be a huge stepping stone in the history of Pakistan cricket, giving relief to a whole generation of players deprived of playing Tests in their own country.
Pakistan will host Sri Lanka in the first Test at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi starting 11 December. The hosts were recently battered in Australia, but will be boosted upon the arrival of Test cricket in their own country. They would want to put up a show for their fans and end their dismal 2019 on a good note.
The two-match series against Sri Lanka will also be Pakistan’s maiden appearance at home in the ongoing World Test Championship. After losing the first two matches, the ‘Men in Green’ would be eager to open their account. There are 120 points on offer over the course of the next two Test matches.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka will be playing in the red-ball format for the first time since their series against New Zealand in August 2019. They will aim to get acclimatized to the conditions as soon as possible and put up a fight against Pakistan in their own backyard.
Placed fourth in the World Test Championship, Sri Lanka will have their eye on an away series victory, repeating their heroics from their last tour to UAE in 2017-18.
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Here’s all you need to know about the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka:
Date: 11 December 2019
Time: 10:00 AM local time (5:00 AM GMT)
Where: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
The weather conditions are expected to hamper the play at various intervals during the Test. On Day 1 it is expected to stay clear, but Day 2 and Day 3 will be under threat of rain in the first two sessions.
The pitch at Rawalpindi has traditionally been a typical Asian wicket with runs on offer for the batters. Spinners do come into play in the second half of the match as the pitch begins to slow down and offer a lot more turn.
Total matches played: 53
Sri Lanka: 16
Pakistan will be boosted by the return of Fawad Alam as they look to address their batting woes in Test cricket. Alam, who has staged a comeback on the back of tons of runs in the domestic circuit, is expected to walk into the XI.
The hosts might consider playing a 4-man pace attack with Yasir Shah being the lone spinner.
Pakistan predicted XI: Imam-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah
The visitors have a more settled squad, as most of the players pick themselves. The only bone of contention would be playing two spinners or three fast bowlers.
Sri Lanka predicted XI: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha
Live streaming and broadcast details
The live telecast of the two-match series will run on PTV Sports. Viewers can access the broadcast in India at Sony Six and Sony Six HD. The match will also be live-streamed digitally on Sony Liv.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:17 IST