Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2012

Hafeez ready for tough series

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

May 28, 2012

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Mohammad Hafeez and the Pakistan team in Colombo, May 28, 2012
The Pakistan team landed in Sri Lanka on Monday © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka

Pakistan's new Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez has said he expects a tough contest in all three formats against Sri Lanka.

"We all know that Sri Lanka is always good on their own soil and we are looking forward to a very tough series," Hafeez said at a media conference held a few hours after the team's arrival on Monday for a seven-week tour.

"We have experience playing them in the recent past and had good success against them," he said, referring to the Test and ODI series victories when the sides met in the UAE late last year. "I personally feel the boys have worked really hard in the last one and a half months. Although we were not playing any international cricket (recently) some of the guys were doing their own training and the PCB arranged some matches for us to get match practice."

The Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore was happy with the team's preparation for the series. "Although Pakistan is unable to play any international matches at home due to the security concerns in their country, they managed to practice together before coming to Sri Lanka," he said. "We had a pretty decent two weeks camp before we came here finishing up with some practices that were attended by conservatively 15,000 people who were starved of cricket and they just loved them.

"The advantage a country like Sri Lanka has, apart from IPL of course, is they are all centralised in one spot. In our case a lot of the boys are spread out. There are a lot of weeks of build-up before we come together for a camp. From that point of view you can't be in all the places at once taken in good faith that they are working and the boys have. But the two weeks was very good at the other end."

Whatmore served as head coach of the Sri Lanka team on two occasions and is best remembered for guiding them to win the World Cup in 1996 in his first attempt. "That was a long time ago when I finished with Sri Lanka and a lot of water has passed under the bridge. I maintain some friendships which are always good but the task here is to win. It will be nothing less than working 100% to achieve that. The longer goal is to take Pakistan high up in the rankings in all three formats. It's a simple statement but it requires a lot of work."

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said that it was a good challenge for his team to play Pakistan at home. "If you take their performances in the last six months they have performed well in all three formats. To play them in our conditions is a good challenge," Jayawardene said. "We must move forward from the series against England. One-day cricket is important to us and also the T20 because in another 3-4 months we have the World T20 so the T20 matches against Pakistan and the two we will play against India in July are extremely important to us."

Pakistan being their tour of Sri Lanka with two T20 Internationals at Hambantota on June 1 and 3 before moving into the five-match ODI series and the Tests.

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Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

pakistan zindabad i hope they will also play against india cummin dis december n trash dem like i know dey always did in the past but i hope it will be a peaceful series same thing with sri lanka

Posted by   on (May 31, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

Poor selection from SLC. No Ajantha mendis and Maharoof. SLC selection panel is always useless.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

Can any one tell What sort of track is expected in hambantota. Wil it b slower n lower or wil suit the batsman coz pitch itself detemine the edge between two teams

Posted by   on (May 30, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

Pakistan play 11 should be: 1.Shehzad 2.M.Haheez 3.U.Akmal 4.Shoaib Malik 5.Haris Sohail 6.Hammad Azam 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Shakeel Ansar 9.Mohammad Sami/Raza Hasan 10.Umar Gul 11.Saeed Ajmal

Posted by WPDDESILVA on (May 30, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Sri Lanka got no chance!! SL is Unprepared.

Posted by cooldxve on (May 30, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

I think that if Hafeez proves to be a good captain in T20s, he should be given the ODI captaincy as well. But Misbah should still remain the Test captain, because his pace is slow which suites Test cricket.

Posted by AB-14 on (May 30, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

@Indianpunjabi-india are just flat pitch bullies.BY THE WAY I M EXPECTING A TOUGH SERIES

Posted by NaveedLikeCricket on (May 30, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@Indianpunjabi .. I think you forgot that Pakistan is the Asia cup winner not India.. who lose their match against Bangladesh.. India can win more only on their flat pitches and short boundries where they practice for years.. :) it was just a luck that India beat pak in Asia cup, you people tried to ruin pakistan cricket but here it is Paksitan the king of Asia ..

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

Given the recent performance of Pakistan, one would suggest Pakistan win in all 3 formats. But i expect a tough fight but would be disappointed if Pakistan lose.

Posted by Indianpunjabi on (May 29, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

SRILANKA WILL WIN EASILY JUST LIKE INDIA BEAT PAKISTAN IN ASIA CUP

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 17:30 GMT)

younas must be given a chance of for the captincy again ! Afridi have a good sense of changing the bowling variation as sometimes misbah lacks ! Pak has very strong bowling attack but must be working of batting line up .

Posted by saabir786 on (May 29, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

pak is badly missing Imran Nazir,Plz bring him back

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

plz dont dive a chanse for tharanga.hope raain will not damage. t20's...mahela,dilshan,chandimal,sanga,mathews,....,kaushalya,thisara,sachithra,malinga,kulasekara....! there are many players not in form in the best team to take ffrom the sqd.

Posted by Extraz on (May 29, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

@circguru,yeah bro that should b the spirit i am also a pakistani and i really don't care if pak win or our lankan brothers win just want to see good competitive cricket thats all!

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

well...i want to see akmal,afridi,sangakarra,shehzad and jayawardena century........may my wish be granted

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

@ Nair_saab ... There are many young guys in pakistan and they never get a single chance as well ... He won the 3 series but in which conditions ???and what was misbah own performance ...what he did in the T20 against ENG ...I played first class cricket in pakistan and I can tell 10 guys in pindi and islamabad region only who deserve to be there ...even more better guys in whole our country ... And specialy what they are doing with sohaib malik ...they just wasted him ...if he is playing why they don't give him a chance at No 3 or 4 ... I think they are totally out of mind and some times pakistani selector and specialy captain misbah act like they don't know anything about cricket at all ....

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 29, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Weather was fine today in Colombo and will only get better. Ignore the comments by those who are exaggerating the rain issue. Just type Colombo weather on google and then have a look at the BBC forecast along with that of timeanddate.com to get an accurate picture and the weather is largely ok for the next 2 weeks.

Posted by getsetgopk on (May 29, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

And the reason why Pak wont do well in ODI's is because Misbah is the captain! Misbah doesn't even deserve a place in ODI squad let alone captaining it. Afridi should be the ODI captain and by removing Misbah we can accommodate a better ODI player like Imran Nazir!!

Posted by Noball_Specialist on (May 29, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

SL should seriously consider taking a break from cricket. They're in need of revitalisation and rest. you can see that from their cricket. There really isn't a hunger to see SL play Pakistan again. They just completed a series in the middle east. If the rain doesn't wash out this series - its cricket for the sake of cricket.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

in the last line there is a typo: it has to be 'begin' instead of being

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

Pakistan comming to their second home

Posted by truthhh on (May 29, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

GOOD LUCK SRILANKA!!i hope to see a good series

Posted by Ganeshran on (May 29, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

One thing's for sure...It's gonna be a snooze fest as fans have got used to watching thrilling , high adrenaline IPL matches

Posted by Charith99 on (May 29, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

to all of the pakistan friends who are here i would like to say that unfortunately we will not see many matches because the weather is going to be awful.Its already raining bucket loads apart from hambantota.

Posted by SohailMirza on (May 29, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

I wish PK loose all matches becuase PCB is simply ignoring a real talented player IMRAN NAZIR.. He was the best in T20 local events and BPL but no place in team .. sad !!!! .. Malik either perform or do not perform it is 110% sure that he will always be in the team due to his bad approaches

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

i Believe that Pakistan Should Win Test Series (1-0/2-0). ODI's nd T20's 50/50. Best of luck team PAKISTAN. Umar akmal Should be sent to bat at 4. My team for T20's 1. Ahmad Shahzad 2. Muhammad Hafeez 3. Haris Sohail 4. Umar akmal 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Hammad Azam 8. Shakeel Ansar 9. Umar Gul 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Aizaz Cheema.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (May 29, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

@mohammad tariq sardar . the no .1 batsmen in the world was all at see against england . gream swann in particular .

Posted by Srish75 on (May 29, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

i think it will be good contets for pakistant,as srilanka has been castrated after world cup with continous losses.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

Although I still think Misbah ul Haq was the best choice for Captaincy ... Yet I do hope Muhammad Hafeez wil live up to the expectations. The guy is a natural cricketer, has struggled very hard through out life to get here and finally he has been rewarded with the golden cap. Good Luck Team Pakistan for the upcoming matches.

Posted by circguru on (May 29, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Being a Pakistani, it does not matter for me which team wins the match / series!!!! Even we are happy on the SL victory. Best of luck for the friendly contest !!!

Posted by KarachiKid on (May 29, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

please stick with Misbah in tests and with Hafeez in T-20s. Also give due respect to Younus in tests and Afridi in ODI/T20. This team looks okay give nthe resources they have.

Posted by khurramsch on (May 29, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

1 thing pakistan missing in odi & t20 that they lack a quality medium pace allrounder. Yes hammad is there but shoaib will play. when spinners like afridi, ajmal, hafeez there pak need pacer allrounder instead of shoiab malik. i m not against malik but current composition he can not come in team as allrounder may be as batsman.they need pacer allrounder after razak. we have witnessed now many times pak failed to get benifit of good starts in batting power plays.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

Hope SL win over Pakistan in all 3 upcoming series

Posted by Extraz on (May 29, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

i'll be a tough series for Pak coz sri lanka have some great batsmen and they'll have the advantage on their own soil.best of luck to both teams.@tanstell87 we will see that in the series that who's getting the hammering!

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

Sangakara is the man Pakistan have to watch. He is SL run machine. In my book, On current form he is #1 in the world. Get Sanga and Mahela early, the rest will follow. Whichever way you look at it, it's gonna be tight. Good luck to both teams, i want to see tough nail biting cricket.

Posted by s.a.91 on (May 29, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

Haha! I love how people have no clue how Pakistan will perform considering their unpredictability. I personally want to see Pakistan winning all the three series but with hard work. Sri Lanka need to give them the worst possible time before losing, so Pakistan has something to practice on before the T20 World Cup considering we don't have very many matches to practice on before that.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

both teams are capable of winning the series.but matches will be played in sri lanka.I don't think sri lankan ready to lose in there home.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Dilshan is not a useless captain.he is a useful captain.that is why his team beat south africa in south africa in test.when he captained other players did not support him to win.

Posted by Yasindu on (May 29, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

RAIN will be the WINNER ....................

Posted by Nair_saab on (May 29, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

@Danish Iqbal - Are you out of your mind...? Under that guys captaincy you guys have won 3 Test series's in a row.Can you name a single youngster who has cemented his place in your team in the last three years ? I would love to see Sanga,Mahela & Dilshan getting some good knocks in the ODI's and coming back to form before test matches begin. Its a fight among the equals if Srilankan batsmen return to form.

Posted by anver777 on (May 29, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

Weather God will be the winner in this series ..........

Posted by tanstell87 on (May 29, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

i dont see Pakistan winning any of the matches....Sl are going to hammer them !

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Pakistan will WIN but Srilanka will give them a Good Fightback! The reason that SL wont win is they all are struggling with their Form including jayawardena, Dilshan and Sanga. Best of Luck to Both teams :)

Posted by   on (May 29, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

I think hafeez should be leading pakistan in test and ODI as well ...bcoz he is young and better captain then misbah ..and younis khan should be playing test only and misbah should be given farewell before the T20 Worldcup...he don't deserve a place in team anymore ... Other young guys should be given a chance ...plzzz misbah u have done enough now give a chance to others ...wish u all the best hafeez pakistani nation expects a lot from our team ....

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (May 29, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

IF ONLY PAKISTAN BATSMEN HOLD THEIR NERVES THEN PAK CAN EASILY WIN THIS SERIES . I WILL NOT PREDICT ANY RESULT FOR THIS SERIES . AFTER ALL THE NAME OF TEAM IS PAKISTAN .

Posted by siri1234 on (May 29, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

really muazam ali.........................i think pak fans can really dream about beating srilanka upto the point of series starting because once the series starts it will be a completely different story.my prediction is t 20-sl 2-0 ,odi-sl 3-2 and in test 1-1.pak may have a slight edge over us in bowling department but our batting is 10 times superior than pak batting.it feels really funny how pak fans thinks pak r favourites because they beat us in last series.guys a new series is a new series.no matter how well u have done in previous series u hav to start from 0 in a new series.

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 29, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

@Muazam Ali, please dont underestimate Sri Lanka. Dont forget that Mahela is a great captain unlike Dilshan's useless captaincy.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2012, 23:33 GMT)

waiting to see how it goes with a seperate team for each format

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (May 28, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

I am Expecting a good cricket series.. looking forward to see some guys like ahmad shahzad, haris sohail and sami,s return. best of luck team paksitan.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

pak is definitely going to win because of superior bowling attack

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