Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2019: Pakistan’s predicted XI for the first Test
After an awful incident in Pakistan during the Sri Lanka series in 2009 which led to the pause of cricketing action in the country, Test cricket finally returns to the shores of Pakistan. Sri Lanka will be touring Pakistan for a two-match Test series and will become the first team to play Test cricket in the nation after a gap of ten years.
The arrival of Test cricket in Pakistan, however, hasn’t come at an appropriate time as the ‘Men in Green’ are experiencing a lean patch in the longest format of the game. Yet, Pakistan would hope that the return of red-ball cricket might bring a change in fortunes as they look to better their performances from the past.
Pakistan’s last outing against Australia saw the former crumble against a resurgent line-up on the back of the inexperience in their side. However, the Test series against Sri Lanka will be an opportunity to redeem themselves in front of their home crowd.
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For the upcoming series, the home side have included a couple of new faces, apart from retaining the core of the side. Yet, the most notable addition to the side is Fawad Alam, who has been finally rewarded for his continuous contribution in the domestic circuit.
The left-handed opener has enjoyed a purple patch with the bat in hand that has seen him earn a spot in the Test squad, and it will be no surprise if he goes on to feature in the playing XI of the first Test at Rawalpindi beginning on December 11.
Imam ul-Haq and Haris Sohail were retained in the side despite dismal outings with the bat in the series against Australia. The hosts have also included Usman Shinwari as a part of the five-man pace attack selected for the two Tests, apart from the inclusion of Yasir Shar as the lone spinner.
It is highly likely that on a batsman-friendly pitch in Rawalpindi, the home team will look to play Yasir along with their three fast bowlers. Yet, all eyes will be on Pakistan’s batting line-up, with the batsmen having a point to prove with their ability to bat long periods against the red ball.
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.