Top 5 Pakistan players to watch out for on the Sri Lanka tour

Nishit Kunal

Pakistan will play Sri Lanka in three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals. They will begin with a three-day tour game in Colombo from June 11, before the first Test in Galle from June 17. As in every Pakistan team of the past, the current crop has plenty of players to watch out for.

Ehsan Adil took the wicket of Graeme Smith with the third ball of his international career

Ehsan Adil

Pakistan has a history of producing young fast bowlers and Adil is no different. The 22-year-old made his name when he took the wicket of Graeme Smith with the third ball of his Test career.

He hasn’t played many games but provided good support to the likes of Wahab Riaz in the recently concluded World Cup. It is certain that the boy from Sheikhupura will play under the shadows of Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan and will get lot of competition from Mohammed Imran Khan when Pakistan plays Sri Lanka, but it will be extremely hard to ignore this young lad.

He may have played only two Test matches and taken only four wickets, but it won't be surprising if Adil emerges as the surprise weapon for Pakistan. It is only left to be seen how he is used by his captains.

Mohammed Imran Khan

Mohammed Imran Khan

The right arm fast bowler from Peshawar has played four Test matches and taken 9 wickets. He came into recognition after he took three wickets against Australia dismissing the likes of Michael Clarke, Chris Rogers and Mitchell Marsh. Though he didn’t get to do much in the recently concluded Test series against Bangladesh, his inclusion in the squad for the tour to Sri Lanka bodes well for the 27-year-old.

He made his way into the Test team after he performed consistently in the domestic circuit. Unless Pakistan goes with a 4-man pace bowling attack, Imran will have to fight for a place with Ehsan Adil.

Will he create the sort of magic with the ball just like his legendary namesake, the World Cup winning captain Imran Khan?

Shan Masood

Shan Masood

The 25-year-old impressed in his debut game when he scored a gutsy 75 runs against a formidable South African bowling and provided good cover to the Pakistan team who were without Mohammed Hafeez. He got selected on the basis of his consistent showing in the domestic circuit. However, after that innings, Masood couldn't do much of account and got only three more games to play against the Proteas and later New Zealand.

The Stamford University pass out though staked his claim to be the third opener in the squad for the tour to Sri Lanka and be a backup for Mohammed Hafeez and Azhar Ali after his recent score of 182 against Sri Lanka A.

Though chances seem less for the Kuwait-born opener to feature in the opener against the Lankans, it will be difficult to ignore the lad given that his recent performance for the A team has been quite impressive. One could expect him to take the field for his country in the later part of the series.

Babar has been terrific for Pakistan

Zulfiqar Babar

Generally at 36 a player begins to plan about life after cricket – not Zulfiqar Babar. Babar, who became the oldest player from Pakistan to make his T20 debut, made his Test debut against South Africa but it was the matches against Australia and New Zealand where he went on a wicket-taking spree, picking up 27 wickets in 5 matches.

He also took 6 wickets for 31 runs against Sri Lanka President XI in a warm-up game. With 36 wickets from 8 matches and an enviable average of 37, Babar has impressed every cricket pundit.

Babar will certainly be the trump card for the Pakistan. With Saeed Ajmal dropped due to poor performance, Babar brings a lot of experience to the table courtesy domestic cricket where he has more than 300 wickets to his credit. The left-armer can team up with off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez and leg-spinner Yasir Shah to pose a distinct challenge for the island team on pitches which aid spinners.

Haris Sohail of Pakistan

Haris Sohail

Haris Sohail has slowly become one of the mainstays of the weak Pakistan middle order in limited overs cricket and it is only understandable if he begins to play a similar role for his team in the longest format.

Pakistan’s biggest weakness is their batting and despite having a very talented batting line up they are often blamed for not being consistent and having a tendency to rely a bit too much on their captain Misbah-Ul-Haq. Sohail, who has an average of 52 in first class cricket and 43 in ODIs is no brickbat and will definitely look to stem his position permanently in the team by performing against Sri Lanka in their den.

Nevertheless, if Pakistan harbour any hope of beating the Lankans on their own turf, then not only will Sohail have to be a huge support for his captain but will also have to score big runs and make sure to stabilize the weak middle order.

Edited by Staff Editor


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