Deadline: December 12, 2019 at 10:30 AM IST
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
4 of 8 victories at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium include follow-ons. The team batting first buried the opposition under a colossal total and then dismissed them twice. There are 2 double-hundreds and as many as 12 hundreds at the venue. It is going to be a feast for the batsmen.
Probable XIs for Pakistan: Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera (wk), Niroshan Dickwella/Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara
We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ images to get the data while making your fantasy team.
Note: You can now select 1-4 wicketkeepers, 1-6 batsmen, 1-6 all-rounders, 1-6 bowlers.
Wicketkeepers: Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera
Batsmen: Babar Azam (vc), Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Dimuth Karunaratne (c)
All-rounders: Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera
Bowlers: Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Lasith Embuldeniya
NOTE: Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely.
Match prediction & preview
Pakistan haven’t won a Test since last November, stretching their losing streak to 6 consecutive defeats – 1 in Dubai, 3 in South Africa, and 2 in Australia.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka managed to beat South Africa 0-2 in their own den, also becoming the first Asian team to achieve the feat. They are a different team under the leadership of Dimuth Karunaratne. Perhaps they are at the end of their long revamping phase – at least in the longest format.
However, Pakistan will have no memory of the past losses or wins when they take the field on Wednesday morning. This will be their first Test at home after a decade-long wait. They will be ecstatic, nervous, emotional, and whatnot, and will give their all to emerge victorious.
Going by the match results at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the team batting first is likely to win.
Players to watch out for
Among both teams, Dimuth Karunaratne is the only batsman who appears in the top 10 of ICC Test Rankings. In 2019 he has scored 427 runs in 6 Tests including a hundred and two fifties.
For Pakistan, Babar Azam has collected the most runs (354) this year. Above all, he will be playing Test cricket in front of his home crowd for the first time. Watch out for this talented batsman!
There will be a fair amount of turn as the match progresses. While Pakistan have Yasir Shah at their disposal, Sri Lanka have the finger-spin duo of Dilruwan Perera and Lasith Embuldeniya.
Dhananjay de Silva has, over the years, evolved into a fine all-rounder. He takes important wickets and at times, rescues his team with his resilient batsmanship. Against New Zealand, three months ago, he scored a century when the team was in trouble and picked up wickets when the mainstay bowlers couldn’t.