Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi November 22, 2011

Can Dilshan's men arrest a worrying slide?

80

Match facts


Wednesday, November 23
Start time 1500 (1100 GMT)

Big Picture


What is ailing Sri Lankan cricket? In the past eight months, following the World cup, they have played eight series across formats against top-flight teams, and gone on to lose six of them. The two victories came in Twenty20 series, if that term can be used to describe one- and two-match Twenty20 shoot-outs. Their decline in Test cricket was not a complete surprise, given how much the side depended on Muttiah Muralitharan, but the ODI slump cannot be easily explained.

The answer lies in the batting numbers: since the World Cup final, Sri Lanka's top order, with one notable exception, has endured significant drops in their batting averages. The captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has been the biggest offender, scoring 267 runs at a pitiful average of 17.80. Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga have also been poor imitations of their usual pace-setting selves at the top of the order, while Angelo Mathews is going through his worst phase since emerging as a world-class allrounder.

Mahela Jayawardene is the one man who has managed to steer clear of the Sri Lankan batting nadir. He delivered them their only win in this series with a sparkling half-century in the second game. Jayawardene won't be playing Wednesday's dead rubber because of a knee injury.

Sri Lanka's chances of a face-saving win are further blighted by the prime form of the Pakistan bowling unit. Saeed Ajmal is among the most dangerous offspinners going around now, while Mohammad Hafeez adds another dimension with his mix of straight ones and straighter ones. Umar Gul has been exemplary with the new ball, while Aizaz Cheema has shown that he belongs at this level. Pakistan's worries, if any, will be on the batting front too. But if their bowlers continue to be unplayable, it won't matter. And if all else fails, they still have Shahid Afridi.

Form guide


Pakistan: WWLWW (most recent first)
Sri Lanka: LLWLW

Watch out for …


At the risk of stating the obvious, don't take your eyes off Shahid Afridi. He batted responsibly in the fourth ODI, curtailing his instincts for the most part of his innings, and still needed only 65 balls for his 75. Later, he slid clumsily while attempting to save a boundary in the outfield and got his knee stuck in the turf. It was the sort of injury that stalled Simon Jones' career for four years. Afridi came back after three overs, limped through his run-up and ripped out five wickets. Expect the X-man celebration to make a few appearances in Abu Dhabi.

Lasith Malinga has largely been off the boil in this series. His six wickets have come at nearly five runs per over, and three of those dismissals came in a single match-winning effort. Given how patchy Pakistan's batting form has been thus far in the series, he will be targeting their toes on Wednesday. Can his yorkers provide Sri Lanka some succour?

Team news


Shoiab Malik looked out of place on his return to the side, but an injury to Abdul Razzaq is likely to give him another chance. Razzaq is returning home with a shoulder injury that puts him in doubt for the upcoming Bangladesh tour as well. With the series in the bag, Gul might be in line for a break, in which case Junaid Khan could get a well-deserved chance.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Imran Farhat, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Abdul Razzaq/Shoaib Malik, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul/Junai Khan, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema

Jayawardene's absence could pave the way for Dimuth Karunaratne's inclusion in the Sri Lankan XI, unless Chamara Silva is ready to play after being called up two days ahead of the game. Angelo Mathews' form is likely to be a huge worry, but Sri Lanka don't have the reserves to afford him a break now.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Dimuth Karunaratne/Chamara Silva, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Seekkuge Prasanna, 11 Dilhara Fernando

Stats and trivia


  • Tillakaratne Dilshan is yet to hit his first six in ODIs since taking over as full-time Sri Lankan captain - he has led in 15 one-dayers
  • Pakistan have featured in each of the 16 games played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, winning nine of them
  • Sri Lanka have lost two of their three games here, with the win coming in the dead rubber of a three-match series

Quotes


"As a captain I can't do anything to change the players' game. As a unit we have to take responsibility. As captain I am disappointed to lose, and we need to sit down and think where we can start again before the South Africa series."
Will Sri Lanka make the fresh start that Tillakaratne Dilshan desires in Abu Dhabi?

"When you have a good atmosphere around you, then you try your best to deliver. I was overjoyed by the support in Sharjah where they cheered my singles, so I was happy to put my head down initially."
An adoring crowd can make Shahid Afridi do anything, even bat sensibly

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sabee66 on November 23, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Great Nation Srilanka, well done and great cricket BUt as a Pakistani , I would say Pakistan will win easily and they deserve after so many controversory in and out of the field , they really need just WIN and WIN

  • on November 23, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Ah famous chamara silva is back. I'm delighted!

  • on November 23, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    amazingly few senior players from team pakistan still needs to show some form in ODI series, gul and misbah specially needs to fire this time around...will be looking closly the ICC player rankings once the series in over (rankings will be updated next on 24th November 2011)

  • KelvinLTR on November 23, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    @Ashar Siddiqui Pml N : Did you say Gul is not performing?then what the hell is he doing in UAE that makes our batsman like sheep?

  • lokyshanks on November 23, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    who are we kiding? what reasons can the SL side give for losing an ODI in this fashion? losing 7 wkts for 19 runs!!! so what were the reasons? nothing logical or rational i'm sure. this is what is worrying about cricket today. inexplicable turn of events from nowhere to somewhere from an absolute winning position to a unimaginable defeat....

  • on November 23, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    @asif manzoor agreed man...awais zia should be given a chance

  • innocent_gikian on November 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    with due respect to all my INDIAN mates plz see the figures of current on going test match ind vs WI (http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-west-indies-2011/engine/current/match/535999.html). what a miserable performance of their bowlers .LOLZ

  • ikmal--syd on November 23, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Sri lankan cricket is heading south fast. the problem is that mentally they lack confidence and the selectors seem to have an obsession with mediocre cricketers like C.Silva and D.Fernando. Why not pick the likes of rajapaksa, senanayake, roshen silva, s. weerakoon, Roshan Jaleel and even Vandort for test cricket. Most of the above have are young talents or have been performing consistently. We will just have to wait and see!

  • indianzen on November 23, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    its all in the attitude... A player of Dilshan's attitude and behavior can never be successful. why don't he be humble like a talented Murali or a Malinga ?

  • on November 23, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    has any body talked about owais zia from Rawalpindi, He should be given a chance atleast, he is a very good opener and spin bowler as well, the same guy who hit consecutive centuries in SAARC T20 semifinal and Final.

  • sabee66 on November 23, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Great Nation Srilanka, well done and great cricket BUt as a Pakistani , I would say Pakistan will win easily and they deserve after so many controversory in and out of the field , they really need just WIN and WIN

  • on November 23, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Ah famous chamara silva is back. I'm delighted!

  • on November 23, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    amazingly few senior players from team pakistan still needs to show some form in ODI series, gul and misbah specially needs to fire this time around...will be looking closly the ICC player rankings once the series in over (rankings will be updated next on 24th November 2011)

  • KelvinLTR on November 23, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    @Ashar Siddiqui Pml N : Did you say Gul is not performing?then what the hell is he doing in UAE that makes our batsman like sheep?

  • lokyshanks on November 23, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    who are we kiding? what reasons can the SL side give for losing an ODI in this fashion? losing 7 wkts for 19 runs!!! so what were the reasons? nothing logical or rational i'm sure. this is what is worrying about cricket today. inexplicable turn of events from nowhere to somewhere from an absolute winning position to a unimaginable defeat....

  • on November 23, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    @asif manzoor agreed man...awais zia should be given a chance

  • innocent_gikian on November 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    with due respect to all my INDIAN mates plz see the figures of current on going test match ind vs WI (http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-west-indies-2011/engine/current/match/535999.html). what a miserable performance of their bowlers .LOLZ

  • ikmal--syd on November 23, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Sri lankan cricket is heading south fast. the problem is that mentally they lack confidence and the selectors seem to have an obsession with mediocre cricketers like C.Silva and D.Fernando. Why not pick the likes of rajapaksa, senanayake, roshen silva, s. weerakoon, Roshan Jaleel and even Vandort for test cricket. Most of the above have are young talents or have been performing consistently. We will just have to wait and see!

  • indianzen on November 23, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    its all in the attitude... A player of Dilshan's attitude and behavior can never be successful. why don't he be humble like a talented Murali or a Malinga ?

  • on November 23, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    has any body talked about owais zia from Rawalpindi, He should be given a chance atleast, he is a very good opener and spin bowler as well, the same guy who hit consecutive centuries in SAARC T20 semifinal and Final.

  • Haleos on November 23, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - because India lost to England in england. England deserve their no 1. ranking they are very good side in tests specially in conditions that suit their bowlers. India did not loose to some side which was in a rebuidling phase like pakistan are. Dont forget India almost played with a 3rd string side.

  • on November 23, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs Looks like someone cant tolerate INDIANS doing well !! Cry all you want, but the FACT/TRUTH of the matter is the present lot of Indian players in all 3 formats are way way better than the Lankan players..With due respect to Sanga, Mahela & Malinga, others are just making up the numbers in the 11 !! Get ready for some THRASHING at the hands of PROTEAS !!

  • Cricet_Fan on November 23, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    @ jonathanjosephs not to forget SL lost the test as well as ODI series to Aus at HOME before losing 1-0 to pak in the tests and now losing 3-1 in ODI's. It does look more than a bad patch to me.

  • asithaSL on November 23, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    It'z time to FIRE all gunz for SL...!! don't give up guyz... Begin new era with wining in dead rubber...!! Come on..!! Give us something to cheer about U guyz..!! All da Best SL...!! Dilly we need sixes for shut the static guy

  • WildAmigo on November 23, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    @innocent_gikian @ Afridipak I didn't agree on this... How many chances he get to make it count it takes more than 10 years invested on Imran Farhat. He's not consistent, poor fielder and he is son-in-law of a selector thats why he is in the team. Lot of good openers suffer becoz of this Nasir Jamshed, Khalid Latif etc other thing is that why he selected in all formats? answer: not known. A Class player like Muhammad Yousuf should be in the side instead of him.

  • on November 23, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    RIP Sri Lankan Cricket !!!

  • on November 23, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    RIP sri lankan cricket ... pretty dissapointing tour all around...hope TMD and clan can deliver this time at least !

  • on November 23, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Both teams are fighting hard but are lacking batting stability.Pakistan is doing good under Misbah Ul Haq but even then the consistency is lacking in players performance but Afridi & luck has favoured them.Pakistan is favorite to win the last ODI until Sri Lanka put up a good show. Some senior players like Misbah ul Haq, Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq have'nt performed yet in UAE series and performance is due from them.

  • cricpolitics on November 23, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    The 2011 world cup was dubious to start with. No wonder why the two finalists have performed pathetically since the world cup. India in England and Sri Lanka against Australia and now against Pakistan.

  • on November 23, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    GOOD LUCK TEEAM PAKISTAN.

  • on November 23, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Dilshan doesn't seem to be living up to the expectations as a captain. Or maybe he doesn't find his confident with Sangakara, a successful ex-captain, playing under him. Somehow, he is failing to extract the best out of his team. It is sad to see a great team in such a trouble. Well, I hope they come out of their bad patch soon and deliver the cricket they are best known for.

  • on November 23, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    go, s.lanka go! i want 2 see a victory.i am waiting 4 the moment. good luck.

  • on November 23, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    i dont think its as serious a issue as people make it out to be, true barring the one off T20s sri lanka has managed to lose 6 series on the trot but it hasnt been without fight. with england and australia we lost 3-2 not bad at all, the problem has been the odd one off batting collapse that seem to strike our team on every tour and then in turn cost us the series. and take nothing away from this underated pakistani team , probably one of the best one-day units going around these days.

  • Kristy on November 23, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    I don't understand why Sanga doesn't wan't be captain. But then he is not serving his country with his ability (he is a captain material).. ca-moon Sanga everybody has issues, problems but you have to take it and go... even SL loose matches I prefer Sanga to be captain for another 2 years.

  • johnathonjosephs on November 23, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    What a joke the ranking system is. Sri Lanka, the number 2 ODI side losing to the Number 6 ODI side this badly? India, Number 1 Test side WHITEWASHED against the Number 3 Test side? People saying Sri Lanka was always bad, then how did they get to the WC Final? How did two of their batsman end up the top 2 run getters in WC? When people talk of India getting whitewashed, they say India went through bad patch, but they are still good? Why when SL lose 1-0 in a 3 test series, people say they are horrible when India is just in "bad patch"? doesn't seem right

  • anver777 on November 23, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Come on SL team !!!! want to see some attacking & good cricket at least in the dead rubber. SL will surely miss the experiences of Mahela in this match... & now more pressure on Sanga & Dilshan the remaining 2 senior batters in the team !!!! Mathews is also due for a big score & lets hope for a SL victory today !!!!!

  • innocent_gikian on November 23, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    i m 200% agreed with @ Afridipak what wrong with us when Farhat is showing his performance so according to which he deserves his spot. Instead of this we have to cheer him.

  • SAACHICO on November 23, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Though Misbah's captaincy has brought Pakistan on the right track but he should respectfully exit at least from OD/T20 and concentrate for a while on test cricket.I am very disappointed to see so many aged players going to Bangladesh. As for Abdul Razzaq,hiding age does not make you any younger or fitter and as usual will be pushed out of the squad instead of a graceful retirement. The management need to invest and groom Hammad Azam,Asad Shafiq,Sharjeel Khan etc so that before the nextworld cup they are up to it. Afridi as a player is fine but he is not a captaincy material(ball biting incidents etc) good luck BD series..

  • birdz_eye on November 23, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    Looking for a solid fight from SL as a retribution for the past mistakes in the series & a fresh looking Pakistan side with lots of new faces specially Hammad azam to provide a magical entry on international arena.

  • on November 23, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Mahela Is Declared Fit..Likely XI

    1.Tharanga 2.Dilshan 3.Sangakkara 4.Jayawardene 5.Chandimal 6.Matthews 7.Randiv 8.Prasanna 9.Malinga 10.Welegedera 11.Fernando

  • zerotollerance on November 23, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Let dinesh chandimal and chamara silva and even dimuth bat at the top of the order. All very talented payers and it's time sanga and mahela bat way down the order just like Arjuna and mahanama did in the 96's. Let even thisaara Perera have a go in the power plays. Why can't sanga give a chance for the younger players to play at the top, he's just scoring slow 50's and surviving in the team, not any match winning performances. If dinesh can bat for like 10 overs he can have a match winning performance. Today since its a dead rubber don't let sanga play let the youngsters play, we are bored of seeing sanga. We want to see new face in the team. Dilshan looks like an emotional wreck who needs help. Mathews should be not in the team if he not fit to bowl. He's not a great batsmen, there are better batsmen than him in sl.

  • AdeelBajwa on November 23, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Good luck team pakistan..

  • on November 23, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Pakistan will win the last ODI easily

  • on November 23, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    SL is a great team its just matter of time when their guns start to fire..they have world class players but bad patch can come to anyone...thumbs up for them and as being akistani..pakistan is a great team and thats the result when dressing room is free of politics...

  • shantiratnamaj on November 23, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    This is how unpaid employees perform, so don't expect much more! The cricketers have not been paid and the cricketers know the board is cash trapped so nothing much to be paid in future too.

  • thePakistanian on November 23, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Ok, now I'm fed up with this useless comments about who should be in team or not. Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Khalid Lateef, Hamaad Azam, Sadaf Hussein, Usman Salauddin... etc etc!! Please get over the Names!! Everyone sensible should firstly pray & hope that PAKISTAN as a team should win games & play well regardless who is in team & who is performing. No one seemed to worry about M. Yousaf; He's not in team! I'm not crying for him, Cuz I know he & Younis & Misbah are NOT THE FUTURE! & those names I mentioned above, realistically everyone knows, apart from a few, no one has a genuine chance of permanent place. The future is with Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul & a few others, along with Hafeez, Taufeeq, Malik, Razzaq, AFRIDI, Ajmal & Younis & Misbah who are just in for few (hopefully more) years! So why is everyone just keep mentioning his X1 & tries to bring a new boy in the circle!

    The one who will perform will stay... Rest OUT!

  • Anwaar-Sandhu on November 23, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    @Asanta dilruk namal; umpires gave wrong decisions equally for both teams and umpiring standards should be improved, i agree. umpire should not have reversed his decision after giving wide but why should you be disapppointed, be mindful of the fact that it was clearly not a wide.... so are u serious in saying that u lost because of that wide??? and most importantly, Pakistan also does not like to play home series on neutral grounds, sharja is almost as far from us as from you, so u r just playing a blame game for ur losses, be brave enough to accept that u lost to a better team. Now, what about playing Pak in srilanka?? believe me with this team and attitude, you'll loose even in srilanka, may be even by a bigger margin than this. I like srilankan team, they've always been great friends of us, we want them to perform well, but they need to improve in certain dimensions. i hope this comment from you was in frustration and u was not serious about it. best wishes for both teams for future

  • ajmal1988 on November 23, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    Who care about the rankings? I want pak to just win the series they play, not win with a huuuge amount because they are no that consistant so no point in nagging about it all the time. The rankings are stupid, the teams play different amount of matches and the table doesn't make any sense. Pakistan have the highest win percentage (1% below australia) and to me thats more important. Meaning that they win very often :) Pakistan will tour Bangladesh while Sri Lanka wil go to South Africa. India will go to Australia, and with Pak playing in Bangladesh and in the UAE with spinagiants England they have good chances of advancing on the rankings.

  • on November 23, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    This ............. one very easily will win.. SL no dout ...

  • T_Khan on November 22, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    What i fail to understand is why is S. Malik in the team as a bowler he is not adding any dimension and as a batsman he is in a similar mold to younis and misbah.... so wat exactly is his role??? instead why not give chances to youngsters like hammad azam

  • on November 22, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    Sri Lanka has become a specialist team in HOW TO LOSE FROM A WINNING POSITION? WE ARE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF INTERNATIONAL CRICKET NOW.SACK THE CAPTAIN AND THE SELECTORS.

  • TWKY on November 22, 2011, 23:11 GMT

    SL has been a team of dashing players. Their self belief won them world cup.They just need to pick themseleves again. This tiny Island nation has produced some remarkable cricketers and world cricket lovers would like to see more of them.

  • hussy04 on November 22, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    after the loss of the world cup SL have always looked that much less dangerous. they had lost 2 consecutive world cups and for the senior players who have been in both of these matches (like sangakara and mahela) it would be quite worrying and frustrating. SL have a reason to be feeling down but they have to get over it.

  • on November 22, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    i tink dey shud rest misbah or younus or farhat n giv asad shafiq a chance aswel....

  • Desihungama on November 22, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    @Zooey_Deschanel - There is no such thing as dead rubber ever since ranking system came into being. If Pak wins 3-2, they stay at No. 6 sport. Should they go on to win 4-1, they move up a spot to No. 5.

  • AmmarRajar on November 22, 2011, 20:02 GMT

    sohail tanveer didnt deserved a chance..he was not impressive against a team like Zim..supriseingly he is again selected for Bangledash tour..shafiq is not ahead of Umar akmal..shafiq has still a long way to go..Miserable thing abt shafiq is tht he take a very slow start..Usman Salauddin (again the highest runs scorere in domestic tropjy) should have been selected for Bang tour... Younus khan should be rested for the last game..

  • KarachiKid on November 22, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Drop shoaib malik and abdul razzaq for Hamad Azam and Yasir Arafat. Add Khalid Latif in Test squad at the expense of Imran Farhat. PCB was so stupid to play a test caliber batsmen in Khalid Latif in T20's. Umar Gul also needs rest, too much load on him. Tanvir Ahmed should have been part of test squad.

  • TaylorSwift on November 22, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Yikes, my mistake! I wasn't aware of the Razzaq injury until after posting my comment. This means Imran Farhat will have another go as the opener. Sigh.

  • BRAVEPAKISTAN on November 22, 2011, 19:30 GMT

    PAKISTAN go for the kill n win the series by 4-1 ...GOODLUCK PAKISTAN u wil rock again ..l

  • on November 22, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    this is not a problem with captain dilshan, there is no team sprit.loose or win our national team.

  • InsideHedge on November 22, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Tharanga will captain Lanka very soon. As soon as hits a triple ton in SA, thecaptaincy is his.

  • InsideHedge on November 22, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    I can see Lanka having a great tour of South Africa, I expect to see the boys win this last ODI against Pak, clean up the T20s and then march into SA and make our critics eat humble pie. Just watch Lanka win a historic Test series, I expect a clean sweep.

  • khurramsch on November 22, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    I think paksitna should play full strength. junaid can be included for aizaz. But pak should play umar gul coz 4-1 will give them a rise in ICC rankings. ICC website says 4-1 with take them ahead of england on 5. with bangladesh tour coming up pakistan has chance to climb up.

  • s.m.saad1 on November 22, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Pakistan is now on Track, I think Good Captaincy Of Misba Ul haq Jells the Team And The Coach Mohsin Khan is also doing a great Job, I have Concerns about Abdul Razzaq , S. Malik are not fit for the Odi's and Asad Shafeeq is a Future for Pakistan..

  • on November 22, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    @ Zooey_Deschanel ...i think zooey needs some reading glasses. razzaq is injured and going home so there is no possible way he can bat at number 2!

  • Lord.emsworth on November 22, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    Dear Mr.Sundar, I can answer your question 'What is ailing SL cricket' in 3 words... 'Selector Duleep Mendis'. Ever since he started his job as chief selector SL have lost almost everything.

  • Afridipak on November 22, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    why everyone talking about Imran farhat he's got 2 fifties in this series he has played much better than younis or misbah or razzaq

  • on November 22, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    why not bring in asad shafiq in place of sarfraz. he is a wicketkeeper as well and he is 10 times a better batsman than sarfraz.

  • Fizzah on November 22, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Best of Luck Pakistan.... and BOOM BOOM..........

  • msidd on November 22, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    why are we pakistani being so critical lets just celebrate the success of the current team finally pakistan is on winning streak then those words like "must play him" being used huh...

  • on November 22, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Our selectors are fool who are not giving Junaid Khan chance in ODIs as well to perform. He is young and talented and above them, he can play for much more years than Gul or Aizaz Cheema so it is the right time to make him a regular member of the team rather than rotating Sohail Tanvir, Aizaz etc

  • WPDDESILVA on November 22, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Dilshan, you need to step down as captain and concentrate on your batting. You'll always be remembered as the destructive batsman you are....no need to build a legacy of captaining SL. Please strip yourself off the captaincy - It's hurting SL mate!

  • on November 22, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    SL Selectors... relieve Dilshan as quickly as possible... He is a great player and need freedom to do so. Captaincy is a burden for him. Elect Mathews and surround him with Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan and other key players and SL will succeed in time.

  • SamAsh07 on November 22, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Shamshir Hussain, could you please read the article again??? Abdul Razzaq has a shouler injury so he won't be playing. I'd say Pakistan should rest Shoaib Malik and give Abdur Rehman the spot (It's not like Malik is scoring anyways), Umar Gul like the article said, should get a rest paving the way for Junaid Khan, rest of the line-up is all fine...well I'd love to see Asad Shafiq get a chance by replacing Younis Khan but Younis is the prime No.3, he prevents collapses. Idk but maybe they should give Shafiq a chance too? And please o please, no Tanvir!! JUST DON'T!!! Why I'm hoping to see the other 3 play?? If you want to give your reserves a chance, this is the moment...Tanvir was already tried, why not the other 3?? Show some love :D

  • Realhotshady on November 22, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    "And if all else fails, they still have Shahid Afridi". They've Shahid Afridi, thats why they won the series. A good one.

  • on November 22, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    this kind of bad patches can be happened to any country not only us aussies were out for little vs SA...... so many doubts are there.... umpairs are horrible even they afraid give wide without asking the bowler,one bad decision enough for a collapse ...... pak pls come out from UAE and sharjah ..... we will warm invite u T20 in SL .... then we will see who r stronger or not? dnt blame our team? we never continuously over,,,, we will come back soon! and stronger ...... wait n see

  • TaylorSwift on November 22, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Since this is a dead rubber, I would rest some of the seniors and go with the following lineup - 1) Hafeez, 2) Razzaq, 3) Shafiq, 4) Malik, 5) Misbah, 6) U. Akmal, 7) Afridi, 8) Sarfraz, 9) Ajmal, 10) Cheema and 11) Junaid. This must serve as Shoaib Malik's last chance. I personally don't think he deserves a spot in the ODI XI anymore. Younis Khan should only be picked for the Test squad going forward. Asad Shafiq or Azhar Ali should be given a go in the ODI squad. And please drop Imran Farhat permanently! Best of luck, lads!

  • on November 22, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Pakistan should get in Asad and Junaid In the playing XI at any one,s cost - they are too gud to be left out ov the side for the whole tour.Younis and Gul can be rested

  • innocent_gikian on November 22, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    i think it will be a good decision to let down UMAR GUL for rest and put Junaid in place of him on the other way CHEEMA doing outstandingly well( need lil' bit to be groomed) and also ASAD shafique(pakistan's future) should be in place of malik.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 22, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    @Weerasinghe, changing of captaincy won't change the fortunes. The only change it could bring, could be Dilshan being relieved of some pressure and coming back to his explosive form. I personally think, the selectors are making blunders by not selecting Smaraweera. A. Mendis should also been selected for the ODI series. Smaraweera has always scored so heavily against Pakistan that they fear him even more than Sanga. Good luck but pakistan will win again inshallah.

  • mustufa on November 22, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    For Pakistan: they should try to win, but they have to bat and bowl their bench. Junaid has to play, Asad Shafique has to play. I rest Younis and Umar Gul definitely.

    I hope they play this lineup.

    Hafeez Farhat Asad Umar Misbah Malik Afridi Sarfaraz Ajmal Junaid Aizaz

  • r1m2 on November 22, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    SL was hiding under the shadow of greatness or freakazoid that was Murali. With him gone, there's no talent left in the bowling. Pacers are mediocre as they have always been. Spinners are mediocre except when playing on custom made spinning pitches at home. In their entire history they produced one genuine international quality spinner that was Murali and two genuine international quality pacers Vaas and Malinga. Malinga is past his prime. I do not believe any cricketer can stop playing longer version of cricket and can continue to sustain excellence in any other form of the game for too long. At any rate, SL's only hope rests with two great men left in the team who are Sangakkara and Jayawardene. So, only with two international quality cricketers and batsmen, does SL have any hope in any form of the game outside of SL? No, the team is as bad as or as good as Bangladesh/Zimbabwe. All they have left is legacy. You can beat up as a dead horse as much as you want but it won't run again.

  • Rakim on November 22, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    "An adoring crowd can make Shahid Afridi do anything, even bat sensibly" hehehe!!

  • on November 22, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    Best of Luck to Pakistan for the final ODI against Sri lanka.Afridi , Razzaq and Ajmal are key players for Pakistan.

  • sunnysaeed on November 22, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    hope they will come back strongly as i m big Fan of SL cricket.

    and wish u good luck pakistan Team ... hope u guys perform well with best teams

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    MR Dilshan, if you can't do anything to change the player's game, you should not be the captain.You have the right to relive your self from the agony.Please step down.You will be doing a great favor to Srilanka cricket.

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    Pakistan has to look forward, for coming series, their main rivals are England, they have to prove themselves, when they play serious cricket collectively , no other team can beat them.

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    dilshan is just not a captain a brilliant palyer no doubt about him you have to be to be highest run scorer in a wc but he is the guy who should be let free by giving him captaincy he is not natural to captaincy he is not a sanga and mahela who are natural to captaincy thats the only way you can get those explosive knocks back from him consitently

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    Bring back Abdul Razzaq in place of Malik because Razzaq is specialist bat aainst England. So, he must be there against England too. Another change could be Junaid khan for Cheema/Gul and Asad Shafiq for Sarfaraz ahmad, Umar Akmal being the keeper.

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan, go for win and get the highest win ratio for this year

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  • on November 22, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan, go for win and get the highest win ratio for this year

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    Bring back Abdul Razzaq in place of Malik because Razzaq is specialist bat aainst England. So, he must be there against England too. Another change could be Junaid khan for Cheema/Gul and Asad Shafiq for Sarfaraz ahmad, Umar Akmal being the keeper.

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    dilshan is just not a captain a brilliant palyer no doubt about him you have to be to be highest run scorer in a wc but he is the guy who should be let free by giving him captaincy he is not natural to captaincy he is not a sanga and mahela who are natural to captaincy thats the only way you can get those explosive knocks back from him consitently

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    Pakistan has to look forward, for coming series, their main rivals are England, they have to prove themselves, when they play serious cricket collectively , no other team can beat them.

  • on November 22, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    MR Dilshan, if you can't do anything to change the player's game, you should not be the captain.You have the right to relive your self from the agony.Please step down.You will be doing a great favor to Srilanka cricket.

  • sunnysaeed on November 22, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    hope they will come back strongly as i m big Fan of SL cricket.

    and wish u good luck pakistan Team ... hope u guys perform well with best teams

  • on November 22, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    Best of Luck to Pakistan for the final ODI against Sri lanka.Afridi , Razzaq and Ajmal are key players for Pakistan.

  • Rakim on November 22, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    "An adoring crowd can make Shahid Afridi do anything, even bat sensibly" hehehe!!

  • r1m2 on November 22, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    SL was hiding under the shadow of greatness or freakazoid that was Murali. With him gone, there's no talent left in the bowling. Pacers are mediocre as they have always been. Spinners are mediocre except when playing on custom made spinning pitches at home. In their entire history they produced one genuine international quality spinner that was Murali and two genuine international quality pacers Vaas and Malinga. Malinga is past his prime. I do not believe any cricketer can stop playing longer version of cricket and can continue to sustain excellence in any other form of the game for too long. At any rate, SL's only hope rests with two great men left in the team who are Sangakkara and Jayawardene. So, only with two international quality cricketers and batsmen, does SL have any hope in any form of the game outside of SL? No, the team is as bad as or as good as Bangladesh/Zimbabwe. All they have left is legacy. You can beat up as a dead horse as much as you want but it won't run again.

  • mustufa on November 22, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    For Pakistan: they should try to win, but they have to bat and bowl their bench. Junaid has to play, Asad Shafique has to play. I rest Younis and Umar Gul definitely.

    I hope they play this lineup.

    Hafeez Farhat Asad Umar Misbah Malik Afridi Sarfaraz Ajmal Junaid Aizaz