Pakistan hopes for change of fortune in one-dayers

After losing the three-match Test series, Pakistan is still looking for the first win of its Sri Lanka tour as the teams prepare for a 5-match ODI series.

updated: July 29, 2009 15:46 IST
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Dambulla, Sri Lanka:

After losing the three-match Test series, Pakistan is still looking for the first win of its Sri Lanka tour as the teams prepare for a five-match one-day international series that starts on Thursday.

Sri Lanka remains wary of the tourists who have enjoyed more success at the shorter version of the game.

"We just need to forget everything and move forward. The team knows that we didn't play to our potential and that itself is good enough motivation for us," Pakistan captain Younis Khan told reporters on the eve of the first match at Rangiri Dambulla Stadium.

His counterpart, Kumar Sangakkara, is hoping his team will not be complacent after the 2-0 Test series win.

"We may have won the Test series, but we have new players coming into the side and we need to get back the momentum and regroup soon to come on top," Sangakkara said.

"I feel they play the shorter form of the game better. They can be a temperamental side, but at the same time, (they are) a very tough team in ODI cricket."

Pakistan has been boosted by the return of several players who were involved in the Indian Cricket League. Participation in the unsanctioned league meant that they were banned from international cricket, but they are now allowed to play for their country after breaking ties with the league.

Opener Imran Nazir and fast bowler Rana Naved return to the squad while Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq have been part of the Test squad after pulling out of the league.

"My hands are open and I have welcomed them. When they joined the ICL, it was a massive blow for Pakistani cricket. Now that they are back I am extremely pleased," Younis said.

With the pitch in Dambulla expected to suit seam bowlers Sri Lanka boosted its seam attack by drafting in Dilhara Fernando. The Sri Lanka squad now features six fast bowlers.

The hosts are buoyed by the return of off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the highest wicket taker in the game.

The 37-year-old missed the Test series with a knee injury. Lasith Malinga, who was rested for the Tests, also returns to the side.

Sri Lanka has lost its last four one-day series at home.

"Looking at the bigger picture, we are trying to build a stronger team leading up to the World Cup and we have tried a few new players," Sangakkara said.


Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Anjelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekera, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Thilina Kandamby, Malinga Bandara, Thilan Thushara, Isuru Udana, Dilhara Fernando and Upul Tharanga.

Pakistan: Younis Khan (captain), Abdul Razzaq, Fawad Alam, Rao Iftikhar, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Yousuf, Nasir Jamshed, Rana Naved, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Umar Gul.