It is time for the 50-over format to kick in after Pakistan and Sri Lanka
shared the T20 series over the weekend. Both teams will be eyeing valuable points
on the ICC ODI Rankings with the five-match series starting on Thursday in Pallekele.
Pakistan will be back under the captaincy of Misbah ul Haq, after Mohammad Hafeez debuted as captain in the T20s. Misbah was one of the nine players to fly in for the ODIs as changes from the T20 squad.
Click for Live Score Card of Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan
Under Misbah's captaincy, Pakistan won the ODIs 4-1 against same opposition
in UAE last year. Sohail Tanvir has been retained in the squad following
his impressive showing in the T20s, replacing Nasir Jamshed who had been ruled
out due to injury.
From Pakistan's side, they will largely bank on the spinners with Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi likely to have a big role. Afridi showed why he
is such a dangerous player with an all-round showing in the last match.
The arrival of Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq lends experience and stability to the
batting line up, though both have been under fire for not converting starts into
Sri Lanka are currently fifth in the ICC ODI rankings, one ahead of Pakistan.
A series defeat will result in swapping places with their rivals while a whitewash
in the hosts' favor will see them move ahead of England in fourth place.
Mahela Jayawardene will return to lead the team after resting in the second
T20. Kumar Sangakkara is likely to play as a specialist batsman with
Dinesh Chandimal taking over the wicket-keeping duties.
Lasith Malinga will spearhead the pace attack while Dilhara Fernando
looks to continue on his better run in the last year. The team will be looking
to make amends for the poor showing in the Asia Cup where they failed to reach
The match will be played in Pallekele, starting at 2.30pm local time.