Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Dubai January 7, 2014

Will Dubai provide more for spinners?

51

Arnold: Ajmal a bigger threat in Dubai

Match facts

January 8-12, 2014
Start time 1000 local (0600 GMT)

Big Picture

If there is a pitch in the UAE that might make amends for the anticlimactic fourth and fifth days in Abu Dhabi, it is the surface in Dubai. In the last match at the venue, spinners accounted for 12 first-innings scalps and the match ended with a day to spare. Rangana Herath had done marginally better than Saeed Ajmal in the first Test, but in truth, neither were ever really a major threat. If either finds assistance in Dubai, it is unlikely the batsmen can play out another draw.

As many as five Test matches have been played at Dubai International Stadium with four ending up with a result. With the series locked at 0-0, a draw obviously will not be a satisfying result for both teams.

Pakistan's biggest aim will be to guard against complacency. Despite taking a 179-run lead in the first innings, they had to toil hard to salvage the match; at one stage they had been in a position to win but Sri Lanka's batsman changed the game to give Pakistan a scare. Big runs are what captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Dav Whatmore are endeavouring for. Pakistan might be the better bowling side but they still need their batsman to stand up.

With Ahmed Shahzad and Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan's top order looked to be a settled one but they might tweak the opening combination, bringing in left-hander Shan Masood in place of Khurram Manzoor - who combined 29 runs in the first Test following his previous back-to-back ducks.

Sri Lanka's top order may feel they have an edge, however, if the match becomes a spin-bowling shootout. Ajmal's 49 wicketless overs in the second innings in Abu Dhabi gave the visiting batsmen an extended view of his variations, and in any case, Sri Lanka have been Pakistan's most frequent foe in the past five years. Rangana Herath also bowled over 56 overs at Pakistan during the Test, but he is less reliant on mystery, owing more of his success to flight and guile. Still, Sri Lanka would do well to be count on Ajmal making an impact in what are effectively his home conditions.

Sri Lanka's batting has also strummed up some form in the first Test, where only Dimuth Karunaratne and Mahela Jayawardene failed to cross 50. The challenge to Sri Lanka's young players is to build consistency into their cricket, particularly as Pakistan will have run their own analysis of each opposition batsman.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: DLWLW
Sri Lanka: DWDLL

In the spotlight

Sri Lanka seam bowlers Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal did not earn outstanding figures in Abu Dhabi, but the discipline they displayed an unsuspected positive. Having come into the series with startlingly little match-practice, they have now also warmed to their work with 87 collective overs. If the surface is as dry as it is expected to be, perhaps they will not be penetrative, but Sri Lanka have sought to build pressure as a unit in recent years, and the team will hope their long, accurate spells in Abu Dhabi can be recreated in Dubai.

The second innings in Abu Dhabi had proved an unproductive one for Saeed Ajmal, the fifth time he failed to take a wicket in an innings. He's got 34 wickets in Dubai, the most taken by a bowler at Dubai International Stadium and once again expectations are high on him. He remains Pakistan's biggest threat.

Team news

Lahiru Thirimanne and Nuwan Kulasekara have both left the UAE with injury and Kusal Perera landed in the UAE about 36 hours before the next match is to begin. Having had such success with the batting line-up from the first Test however, Angelo Mathews is unlikely to change his top seven. The only player who may be switched out is Sachithra Senanayake, who had a mediocre debut, albeit on an unresponsive surface. Uncapped offspinner Dilruwan Perera might replace him, but if Sri Lanka believe the grass on the pitch will make a significant impact, there is a chance Nuwan Pradeep could play instead.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4. Mahela Jayawardene, 5. Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), 6. Angelo Mathews (capt), 7. Dinesh Chandimal, 8. Sachithra Senanayake/ Dilruwan Perera/Nuwan Pradeep, 9 Shaminda Eranga, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Pakistan's first-choice wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal was injured during the first Test, and Sarfraz Ahmed has arrived to take his place. Pakistan could play two specialist spinners with Rahat Ali possibly sitting out.

Pakistan (probable): 1. Ahmed Shehzad, 2. Shan Masood/Khurram Manzoor, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Younis Khan, 5. Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6. Asad Shafiq, 7. Bilawal Bhatti, 8. Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9. Saeed Ajmal, 10. Abdur Rehman, 11. Junaid Khan

Pitch and conditions

The Dubai stadium has some of the most predictable weather in the world, but if any team can bring rain to the desert, it's Sri Lanka. There has been little sun in the 48 hours before the match, which means there is a chance the pitch is a little less dry than usual. There is a veneer of live grass, but perhaps not enough to alter the fundamental characteristics of the surface.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have won only one match in the last 12 against Sri Lanka, but that victory came in Dubai in 2011
  • Saeed Ajmal has 34 wickets in Dubai at 20.11. Rangana Herath has three at 39.33.

Quotes

"Sachithra and Dilruwan bowl quite differently. Dilruwan turns the ball a lot usually, while Sachithra bowls very good lines and lengths. If we play Dilruwan, that would be his debut as well, and he'd be under the same pressure that Sachithra was. Both those bowlers are good and anyone will be under pressure on Test debut. We're not trying to knock Sachithra's confidence - we want him to develop for the future." Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews on the spinners that may compete for a place in Dubai

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • humi_cric on January 8, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    First session is very crucial, as the Pak batsmen have the habit of 99 all out on this ground in first inning. A. Mathews won a very good toss on this grassy pitch and cloudy weather, perfect for fast/seam bowling. All the best to both teams.

  • Cricketlover54 on January 8, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    why exactly is Pak/SL series followed closely by Indian fans? India are 0-9 quite easily the worst Asian team to perform overseas in Cricket.

  • Muhammad_farhan1229 on January 8, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    why sami aslam is not playing he is very good young tailented opner he should be in for manzoor and m.talha should be playing. misbah please play attaking cricket not defencive if u want to go to top raink ...gud luck team pakistan.....frm SWABI...

  • Ray24 on January 8, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Khurram was run out in the first innings when he was playing quite well. He scored a lot of runs in the last series - why are there talks to drop him? On that count Hafeez should never make it to the team, ever! Shan was unrightly dropped to bring in Hafeez. For those who talk about dropping Asad Shafiq, please learn the game. Please. He was the highest scorer in the previous series. He has been the most consistent batsman along with Azhar Ali in the past three years. Just for the sake of commenting people don't realize how damaging they can be.

  • Udendra on January 8, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    Dropping Sachithra after only one match is absurd. Give him another chance and see how he goes.

  • Desihungama on January 8, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    Right thing to do is to give Khurram Manzoor another Test but replace Asad Shafique with Azhar Ali. I think that would be a strong playing eleven with rotating Anwar Ali with Bilawal Bhatti. That should be your team for the 3rd Test, at least. Good luck to both teams.

  • ajithabey on January 8, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    Hope we will have another absorbing test match as both teams are evenly matched on current performance although Sri Lanka could strengthen the spinning dept as pundits believe that Dubai pitch favours spinners. Mahela should bat lower probably after in form Chandimal and Mathews.

  • mainul079080 on January 8, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    If the pitch is a turning one than it will be a boomerang for Pakistan.Pakistan is the worst spin playing team in subcontinent (their records suggest that. You can check the record of Murali, Warne, Kumble, Herath, Tahir and Swann against Pak).Herath and Senanayeke will prove a horror to Pak. If Pakistan want to win, they have to prepare a wicket that assists pacers a bit. Abu Dhabi wicket was the best one for Paki.

  • heathrf1974 on January 7, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    Pakistan will hope for the win as they are at home. The pressure is on them.

  • on January 7, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    Pakistan should have won in the first Test. SL deserves credit for their fight but, its very difficult not to make comparisons with the series played 2 years ago in UAE. Pakistan were in good shape to win the first match but K Sangakarra's 200 something made it end with a draw. Pakistan went to win the next. I hope history repeats itself.

  • humi_cric on January 8, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    First session is very crucial, as the Pak batsmen have the habit of 99 all out on this ground in first inning. A. Mathews won a very good toss on this grassy pitch and cloudy weather, perfect for fast/seam bowling. All the best to both teams.

  • Cricketlover54 on January 8, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    why exactly is Pak/SL series followed closely by Indian fans? India are 0-9 quite easily the worst Asian team to perform overseas in Cricket.

  • Muhammad_farhan1229 on January 8, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    why sami aslam is not playing he is very good young tailented opner he should be in for manzoor and m.talha should be playing. misbah please play attaking cricket not defencive if u want to go to top raink ...gud luck team pakistan.....frm SWABI...

  • Ray24 on January 8, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Khurram was run out in the first innings when he was playing quite well. He scored a lot of runs in the last series - why are there talks to drop him? On that count Hafeez should never make it to the team, ever! Shan was unrightly dropped to bring in Hafeez. For those who talk about dropping Asad Shafiq, please learn the game. Please. He was the highest scorer in the previous series. He has been the most consistent batsman along with Azhar Ali in the past three years. Just for the sake of commenting people don't realize how damaging they can be.

  • Udendra on January 8, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    Dropping Sachithra after only one match is absurd. Give him another chance and see how he goes.

  • Desihungama on January 8, 2014, 3:47 GMT

    Right thing to do is to give Khurram Manzoor another Test but replace Asad Shafique with Azhar Ali. I think that would be a strong playing eleven with rotating Anwar Ali with Bilawal Bhatti. That should be your team for the 3rd Test, at least. Good luck to both teams.

  • ajithabey on January 8, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    Hope we will have another absorbing test match as both teams are evenly matched on current performance although Sri Lanka could strengthen the spinning dept as pundits believe that Dubai pitch favours spinners. Mahela should bat lower probably after in form Chandimal and Mathews.

  • mainul079080 on January 8, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    If the pitch is a turning one than it will be a boomerang for Pakistan.Pakistan is the worst spin playing team in subcontinent (their records suggest that. You can check the record of Murali, Warne, Kumble, Herath, Tahir and Swann against Pak).Herath and Senanayeke will prove a horror to Pak. If Pakistan want to win, they have to prepare a wicket that assists pacers a bit. Abu Dhabi wicket was the best one for Paki.

  • heathrf1974 on January 7, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    Pakistan will hope for the win as they are at home. The pressure is on them.

  • on January 7, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    Pakistan should have won in the first Test. SL deserves credit for their fight but, its very difficult not to make comparisons with the series played 2 years ago in UAE. Pakistan were in good shape to win the first match but K Sangakarra's 200 something made it end with a draw. Pakistan went to win the next. I hope history repeats itself.

  • on January 7, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    pakistan should try umar gul in the 2nd test ......saeed ajmal is a quality bowler a he should try his best...i think this pitch will help pakistan bowling attack

  • max420 on January 7, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    I dont understand why they are trying sarfaraz ahmed again Humayun Farhat is much better wicket keeper and batsman he is even better batsman than his brother imran farhat.

  • tzzara on January 7, 2014, 18:22 GMT

    Adnan Akmal is a nice wicketkeeper but now we have to go with Sarfaraz Ahmed. I have never seen him playing good as a wicketkeeper or as a last order batsman but we cannot do anything about it.

  • mainul079080 on January 7, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    Again it will be proven that Asad Shafiq is not fit for No 6. I can sense his failure. At best he will score a hard fought 50 (like off 130 balls) .Fawad Alam/ Haris Sohail is lot better than him. Sami Aslam is the best opening option i think with Shehzad. Poor squad selection.

  • on January 7, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    Every one is talking of switching khurram with shan masood. I think it will be a bit unfair on khurram to be dropped just after a test. Give him a chance in the secind test too. I think he looked confident in the first innings before falling a prey to a terrible run out. Abdur rehman will definitely be in for Rahat..Sri lankans will have their ace herath n pak will hsve Ajmal tested in their most favourable cinditions, though pak have the luxury of Abdur Rehman nipped in their budd as well..Abdur Rehman and Ajmal is a lethal combination on Dubai wickets.

  • PakPacer on January 7, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    I think Asad and Hafeez need to switch places and Asad needs to be given a run at 1 down. We no longer need to protect him and his 2 centuries against South Africa prove that. I'm not convinced that Hafeez belongs in the top order especially in Tests despite his 80 in the second innings.

  • on January 7, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    mohammad farhan sahib, how r u including s maqsood he is not in test squad he s is n multan or lahore playing domstic inmy humble opinion we shud play shan iso khurram nd play abdur rehman iso rahat although rahat bowled hs heart out it was only luck which d eserted him nd lucky were sl players he shud hv picked 6 -7 wkts easily some umpiring decisions were marginal and went in fvr of sl and ag rahat

  • on January 7, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    No spinner was success in abudabi so SL should give senanayeka another chance

  • yorkslanka on January 7, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    For me, Sri Lanka should play the same team. Good luck to both teams but I am hoping for a Sri Lankan win.

  • SHAHUDHA on January 7, 2014, 15:31 GMT

    pak need to bring back shan masood for k mansoor,adnan akmal for umar akmal,rehman/talha for rahat ali,anwar ali for asad shafiq...this is comfortable squad "ahmad shehzad,m hafeez,s mashood,yunis khan,misbah,sarfaraz/umar akmal,talha,rehman ajmal,junaid,bhatti

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 7, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    I hope Pakistan will go easy on SL with their improved side from the first test. Although Pakistan still dont have their full strength side but still I see a easy win in store for them.

  • on January 7, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    The captain winning toss should take batting first because as the test progress spinner may be effective.Batting on fifth day will not be possible.Toss winner may be the match winner.Let's see from tomorrow.

  • jerryman on January 7, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    SL will need 2 changes.. Kushal perera in for Dimuth and senanayake can be replaced with dilruwan depending on the wicket. If the wicket favors pace may want to play the x factor Fernando as the pace bowler .. Sometimes an unknown player can get wickets ... Am hoping for a decent start from the 1st 4 batsmen ... should not have to depend on the middle order/tail to bail you out always.. respectable batting , dependable fielding and attacking bowling could be the key , especially if they are looking for an elusive win..

  • Muhammad_farhan1229 on January 7, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Hi gus! Salam to all of u. if misbah wants to win this match he has to b positive he is very defencive caption &this is abig reason that pak team not wining matches the reason is selection, in my opinion pakxll shehzad,shan masood,hafeez,y.khan,misbah,sohaib maqsood,m.rizwan(wk)abdur rehman,m.talha,s.ajmal,junaid khan...frm swabi

  • Sports4Youth on January 7, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    The Probable given for Pakistan seems to be ok, except that the batting order needs to be ajusted.

    Pakistan (probable): 1. Shahzad, 2. S.Masood/K.Manzoor, 3. Hafeez, 4. Younis, 5. Misbah, 6. Shafiq, 7. Sarfraz (wk), 8. Bhatti, 9. A.Rehman,10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid

    I think the presence of SARFRAZ, BHATTI & A.REHMAN will provide some dept/solidity to Pakistan's otherwise fragile batting order. I expect this match to be more interesting than the first one.

  • on January 7, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    I hope Saeed Ajmal will take some wickets for Pakistan and i hope Hafeez, Shahzed, Misbah and Younus will fire tommorow

  • Sameeratennakoon on January 7, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    My playing 11...1) kushal perera 2)kaushal Silva 3)sanga 4)mahela 5)Mathews 6)vithanage 7)chandi 8) sachithra 9)rangana 10)suranga 11)chanaka welagedara

  • on January 7, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    as a cricket fan i would like a result in the next match i like both teams and best of time for yonous and mahela

  • mzm149 on January 7, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Sarfraz is lucky to get selected once again. He is rubbish both as a wicket-keeper and as a batsman. His average is 11.12. Even no. 11 batsmen these days have better batting averages.

    Asad Shafiq should be given another chance here. If he fails once again, Azhar Ali should come in his place in next game.

    Khurram Manzoor's fluke in test match against South Africa has earned him enough chances already. He has proved time and again that he is a failure. Shan Masood come in his place if he fails again.

  • on January 7, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Sachithra was unable to be a wicket taking threat during the ODIs. But he was very economical and did the job for the team in that format of the game. So I would prefer team Sri Lanka go with Dilruwan to see his potential, because wicket taking option would be a more rational decision.

  • on January 7, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Hi Guys, view to my opinion Rahat 'Ali should replaced by M.Thalha to c his performance.

  • billbowden311 on January 7, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Please include mohammed Talha! Its now or never, or Talha will be another forgotten lost cause that will make a return to test cricket at age 32. Please, please I'm begging misbah to select Talha!

  • on January 7, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    First of all good luck to both teams but as a Pakistani i will support the green shirts. Pak must play positive because if they have tried a little hard in the last match so there could be a result and Misbah plz don't waste too many deliveries your batting speed can change any game.

  • Ahmedpakistan6 on January 7, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    @ cricketstarbest - Don't forget Pakistani batsmans are also in great for. Hafeez in the form of his life, Shehzad in good form , Misbah, Younus in great form Shafiq in good form. The only weaklinks are Sarfaraz Ahmed and Khurran Manzoor ( if he plays). So it would be just as difficult for Srilankan bowlers as it is for Pakistani bowlers to take 20 wickets. By the way Misbah suggests there is spin in the wicket.

  • keptalittlelow on January 7, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    I have lived in Dubai and I find so frustrating that there is rain when cricket is on, otherwise no rain for months. SL played very well in the last match to avoid defeat, however I find difficult to believe when people say Sri Lanka won morally the last match, Pakistan were 158/2, had they tried a bit positively they could have won.

  • Cric_fever_forever on January 7, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    misbah select any team u want select any strategy u like but plz plz dont bat on day 1 pitch of dubai plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    weather will be a factor during this match.

    if wicket is dry then they should bring in Rehman instead of Rahat.

    sarfraz is already in place of injured adnan.

    instead of khurram, they can bring in shaan or azhar.

  • t20superstars on January 7, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    It has been raining quite heavily in the morning and their is non stop drizzling all over Dubai. The weather forecast for this week also says that there is more predictable showers for the next 5-6 days. So rain would be a hefty factor while deciding the outcome of this match. Hope the rain stays away!

  • Resultpredictor on January 7, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    SL batsman are in good form. Mathews and Chandimal are in good form, Sanga is always in good nick and plays exceptionally well against Pak, Prasanna and Silva are back in form. Its a difficult job for Pak bowlers to get 20wkts. And moreover Pak bowlers picked up ONE WICKET IN WHOLE DAY'S PLAY IN THE LAST TWO MATCHES. Pak bowling is struggling and Batting always struggles. So SL is the team in form, If Herath bowls well then SL can emerge as winners.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    My Team + 1.Dimuth , 2.Kaushal , 3.Sanga , 4.Kusal , 5.Chandimal , 6.Angelo , 7.Prasanna , 8.Rangana , 9.Eranga , 10.Lakmal , 11.Mahela/Dilruwan

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on January 7, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    I think SL will give final chance to Sache and Dimuth to prove it. But my playing 11 is 1 Kausal 2 Kusal 3 Sanga 4 Mahi 5 Chandi 6 Mathws 7 Prasanna J 8 Dilruwan 9 Hearth 10 Eranga 11 Nuwan Pradeep. Good Luck 2 both teams.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Sachitra Senanayaka who was wicketless in 1st test should be replaced by Dilruwan Perera. If Dilruwan takes wickets he is a good prospect to partner Rangana Herath in future test matches

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Hold these matches in Pakistan and you will see the difference.

  • yohandf on January 7, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Mahela - Lakmal and Eranga looks ok and they ll get better with time . but we certainly need to find someone to play at no 4 .

  • SJRN on January 7, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    I hope these two teams try to get a result rather than a draw. A record presence of 90000 expectators at the last ashes is a huge contrast to the barren stands of UAE during the test matches, inspite of presence of large number of working class people from both countries. If test cricket is to survive,ICC needs to take actions to avoid tamely drawn test matches, especially when it comes to Asian countries. India is a bit exceptional as it has a huge population plus they always happen to have star BATSMEN who are crowd pullers. That stardom is not seen in other teams.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Pakistan have a strong point in this match even though Sri Lanka won morally the last match but Pakistan batting has been a huge positive thing and if the pitch will assist spinners they have a huge advantage Rangana Herath and Saeed Ajmal are now being read by both teams but Abdur Rehman will cause problems to Lanka as in 5th Odi Hafeez Younis Shehzad Misbah can all score big and all are in form inclusion of Sarfaraz means a better batsman than Adnan so tail is even shorter

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    Please add Kusal Janith for playing 11,He has an average nearly 47 in First Class than any new test player in SL.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Pakistan have been quite disappointing, after being battle hardened by SA you would expect a much better showing from them. Along with that, with the SL big guns Mahela and Sangakkara not performing to their potential, it only goes to show that they have been little better than average in this series. The team on paper looks very ordinary as well, perhaps Abdur Rehman will be able to make a change. We are really missing Irfan, he was the spearhead of our attack and really put a shine on bowling. Still, I hope to see a more dominant performane from a more responsive pitch.

  • SJRN on January 7, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    I am sure it will be a contest to watch. as the first test showed, both teams do have good batting line ups but bowling doesn't seem to be posing any major threat from either side(except Junaid's 5 for in the first innings). Another point noted is being low in confidence. SL could go for a kill towards the end of fourth day but they didn't. Similarly, Pak could go for a win but they didn't, the excuse being Akmal injured doesn't make sense as he hardly leaves an impression as a batsman. By the looks of it, both these teams are aiming draw rather than a win. A tame draw doesn't give you as much respect as a fighting loss but unfortunately, its the other way round for scoring ranking points, which, in itsell, is a major contributor of slow demise of test cricket, especially amoing Asian countries.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    If the pitch assists spin then SL should stick with senanayake. Abu Dhabi had nothing for the spinners so they should persist with Senanayake. Senanayake, Mahela & dimuth will be in the radar.

    Pakistan batting has dented a bit with Khurram out of form and Adnan injured but it'll be a good chance for Sarfraz and Masood.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    My team = 1. Ahmed Shahzad, 2.Mohammad Hafeez , 3. Azahar Ali, 4. Younis Khan, 5. Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6. Asad Shafiq, 7.Sarfraz Ahmed(wk), 8. Bilawal Bhatti, 9. Saeed Ajmal, 10. Abdur Rehman, 11. Junaid Khan (N B : Azaher is far better the both Shan & Khurram.)

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  • on January 7, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    My team = 1. Ahmed Shahzad, 2.Mohammad Hafeez , 3. Azahar Ali, 4. Younis Khan, 5. Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6. Asad Shafiq, 7.Sarfraz Ahmed(wk), 8. Bilawal Bhatti, 9. Saeed Ajmal, 10. Abdur Rehman, 11. Junaid Khan (N B : Azaher is far better the both Shan & Khurram.)

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    If the pitch assists spin then SL should stick with senanayake. Abu Dhabi had nothing for the spinners so they should persist with Senanayake. Senanayake, Mahela & dimuth will be in the radar.

    Pakistan batting has dented a bit with Khurram out of form and Adnan injured but it'll be a good chance for Sarfraz and Masood.

  • SJRN on January 7, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    I am sure it will be a contest to watch. as the first test showed, both teams do have good batting line ups but bowling doesn't seem to be posing any major threat from either side(except Junaid's 5 for in the first innings). Another point noted is being low in confidence. SL could go for a kill towards the end of fourth day but they didn't. Similarly, Pak could go for a win but they didn't, the excuse being Akmal injured doesn't make sense as he hardly leaves an impression as a batsman. By the looks of it, both these teams are aiming draw rather than a win. A tame draw doesn't give you as much respect as a fighting loss but unfortunately, its the other way round for scoring ranking points, which, in itsell, is a major contributor of slow demise of test cricket, especially amoing Asian countries.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Pakistan have been quite disappointing, after being battle hardened by SA you would expect a much better showing from them. Along with that, with the SL big guns Mahela and Sangakkara not performing to their potential, it only goes to show that they have been little better than average in this series. The team on paper looks very ordinary as well, perhaps Abdur Rehman will be able to make a change. We are really missing Irfan, he was the spearhead of our attack and really put a shine on bowling. Still, I hope to see a more dominant performane from a more responsive pitch.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    Please add Kusal Janith for playing 11,He has an average nearly 47 in First Class than any new test player in SL.

  • on January 7, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Pakistan have a strong point in this match even though Sri Lanka won morally the last match but Pakistan batting has been a huge positive thing and if the pitch will assist spinners they have a huge advantage Rangana Herath and Saeed Ajmal are now being read by both teams but Abdur Rehman will cause problems to Lanka as in 5th Odi Hafeez Younis Shehzad Misbah can all score big and all are in form inclusion of Sarfaraz means a better batsman than Adnan so tail is even shorter

  • SJRN on January 7, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    I hope these two teams try to get a result rather than a draw. A record presence of 90000 expectators at the last ashes is a huge contrast to the barren stands of UAE during the test matches, inspite of presence of large number of working class people from both countries. If test cricket is to survive,ICC needs to take actions to avoid tamely drawn test matches, especially when it comes to Asian countries. India is a bit exceptional as it has a huge population plus they always happen to have star BATSMEN who are crowd pullers. That stardom is not seen in other teams.

  • yohandf on January 7, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Mahela - Lakmal and Eranga looks ok and they ll get better with time . but we certainly need to find someone to play at no 4 .

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Hold these matches in Pakistan and you will see the difference.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Sachitra Senanayaka who was wicketless in 1st test should be replaced by Dilruwan Perera. If Dilruwan takes wickets he is a good prospect to partner Rangana Herath in future test matches