Sri Lanka Test tour of Pakistan 2019: Preview, Match Schedule, Team Squads and Series Predictions

Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis in action
©Reuters
 

All you need to know about the Sri Lanka Test tour of Pakistan, after a full 10-year period, which comprises two Test matches, the first of which will be played in Rawalpindi from December 11.

Apart from cricket's return to Pakistan after 10 years, the other most interesting talking point will be the newly appointed coach of Sri Lanka. One has become so accustomed to seeing Mickey Arthur in the green kit that when you spot him in the dark blue one, as the coach of the opposition, it will seem a bit odd and take some time for the eyes to make their peace with it.

Rawalpindi, and not Lahore, will host the first Test of the tour. A world-class cricket stadium has been built in the city which will get the privilege of hosting Test cricket in Pakistan for the first time in a decade.

The first match begins on December 11. The second Test of the tour will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi after a gap of three days from the first Test.

120 World Test Championship points will be up for grabs in the series. While Sri Lanka drew their only Test series against New Zealand to earn 60 points, Pakistan after getting beaten by Australia Down Under, are yet to open their account.

What happens in the games is of significance, but way more than that, is that The Lions have a safe tour with establishes as a precedent for other teams to travel to Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket Board is already in talks with Bangladesh to host them in the coming months and a successful series with possibly mean a green signal for that.

Pakistan have brought in Fawad Alam and Usman Shinwari in the place of Mohammad Musa and Iftikhar Ahmed.

The last time both teams faced each other in a Test was in 2017 when Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in both the Tests played in UAE. Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal were the top scorers for Sri Lanka then. While Karunaratne will lead the side, former captain Chandimal has also been included in the squad. Sri Lanka's squad is pretty much the same which took on New Zealand in August this year.

Suranga Lakmal, one of the Sri Lankan players who was part of the squad when the team was attacked by terrorists in 2009 at Lahore, has been ruled out of the series due to dengue. Asitha Fernando has been named as a replacement but will only be available for the 2nd Test.

 

Series Predictions

 Winner -  Sri Lanka (1-0)

Top Run Scorer -   Dimuth Karunaratne

Top Wicket Taker -  Shaheen Shah Afridi

Most Sixes - Niroshan Dickwella


Here are the squads of both teams:

Sri Lanka - Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhan­anjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando (substitute player available for the 2nd Test)

Pakistan - Azhar Ali (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket keeper), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari

 

Here's the complete schedule of the tournament:

 

Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan Test Series Dec 11 - Dec 23

Dec 11 - Dec 15 Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test Rawalpindi 5:00 AM

Dec 19 - Dec 23 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test National Stadium, Karachi 5:00 AM


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