It will be a historic occasion for Pakistan as Test cricket is set to return to the country after more than a decade. In a dramatic turn of events, Sri Lanka becomes the first team to tour Pakistan for a Test series despite the fact that they were the same nation who was at the receiving end of a militant attack 10 years ago. Pakistan should be grateful to Sri Lanka cricket board for allowing their players to take part in the two-match Test series.
The Test series will be of utmost importance as it will fall under the ICC Test championship. After receiving a thrashing at the hands of Australia, Pakistan will be eager to get their Test Championship campaign back on track. On the other hand, Sri Lanka will take the field in the longest format after August. In their previous series against New Zealand, Sri Lanka battled hard and managed to draw the series 1-1. With 120 points up for grabs, both teams will be eager to prove a point o two in the series.
Pitch Conditions and Toss
The last time the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium hosted a Test match was way back in 2004. Hence it will be difficult to predict how this pitch will behave for the historic clash between the two Asian giants. Traditionally the Rawalpindi wickets used to be batting friendly wickets with something on offer for the fast bowlers during the initial stages. Spinners should also come into play from 3rd day onward. The team winning the toss should be tempted to bat first.
Probable Playing XI
Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah.
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya.
Two Match Test series
1st Test: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
Date and Time: 11th December 2011, 10:30 PM IST
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Rizwan
Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Matthews, Kusal Perera
Top 4 Batting Order
Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam
Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera
Test Cricket Specialist Batsmen
Azhar Ali, Babar Azam
Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis
Long Spell bowlers
Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah
Lahiru Kumara, Dilruwan Perera
PAK vs SL Dream 11 Wicket-keepers
Mohammad Rizwan will be the only pick in this segment. He is an impressive wicket-keeper batsman who is a free-flowing striker of the ball. He looked in superb touch during the series against Australia and narrowly missed out on his maiden Test century. Rizwan will look to make an impact in the two-match series against Sri Lanka.
PAK vs SL Dream 11 Batsmen
Babar Azam is a must in any dream XI team. He hasn’t quite realized his potential in the longest format but made an impact during the tour of Australia. He scored a magnificent century and fell two runs short of another century in the 2nd Test.
Dimuth Karunaratne will be the next pick in the batsmen category. He scored a fifty and a century during the two-match Test series against New Zealand and is one of their most important players in this format without an iota of doubt.
Shan Masood will be the 3rd pick in this segment. He didn’t manage to score a century in Australia but his composure was pretty apt for the conditions. Masood will now look to prove a point or two in his home conditions.
Kusal Mendis will be the next player in this category. Mendis is an impressive top-order batsman and has played some exceptional knocks in the past. He is a superb batsman, especially in subcontinent conditions.
Kusal Perera will be the next pick in this segment. He is a powerful striker of the ball and is a batsman who can turn the match on its head. One of the greatest Test knocks ever came from his blade when he scored a match-winning 148 against South Africa to help Sri Lanka register a famous victory.
PAK vs SL Dream 11 All-rounders
Azhar Ali will be the first pick in this segment. He is a superb batsman especially in subcontinent conditions and his record is exceptional in these parts of the country.
Dilruwan Perera will be the next pick in this category. He has been an impressive all-rounder for Sri Lanka in the last few years. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his first series in Pakistan.
PAK vs SL Dream 11 Bowlers
Yasir Shah will be the first pick in this segment. He has been a champion bowler for Pakistan especially in subcontinent conditions and his batting skills have also improved by leaps and bounds. He scored his first Test century in Australia very recently.
Mohammad Abbas will be the next pick in this category. He has an exceptional record in the longest format and is one of the most important players for Pakistan.
The last pick in our Dream XI team will be Lahiru Kumara. He is a skiddy customer and has the ability to hurry opposition batsmen with his pace and hostility.
Captain and Vice-Captain
Babar Azam will be the captain of the day while Dimuth Karunaratne will be the vice-captain for the day.
Dream 11 Disclaimer
All our selections are based on in-depth and astute analysis of the players partaking in the match, pitch report and a perusal of other reasoning. Please incorporate a slew of factors while crafting your own side with this article serving as a guide to the match and players.