In the backdrop of the World Cup, Pakistan and Sri Lanka share recent cricketing history, having clashed in a nail-biting ODI at the Asia Cup just three weeks ago. Sri Lanka emerged victorious, advancing to the final. As they gear up for another encounter in Hyderabad, the stakes might seem different, yet memories from their intense game in Colombo linger.
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Match Preview: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka ICC Cricket World Cup 8th Match
ICC World Cup • 10 Oct, 2023 • 3,958 Views • ⭐ 5.0
Written by Anand Swami
After spending two weeks in the city, Hyderabad has become a familiar place for Pakistan. Their familiarity with the pitch and conditions might give them an edge, even as Sri Lanka strives to adapt quickly. Additionally, Babar Azam mentioned that the city feels a bit like home for Pakistan, further enhancing their comfort levels on the field.
Pakistan's prolonged stay in Hyderabad could mean they're well-acquainted with local support, adding to their confidence. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will need to overcome this perceived disadvantage swiftly.
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Form Guide - Pakistan
Pakistan's recent form is a mix of wins and losses, reading WLLWW. Their last victory was a shaky one against the Netherlands, highlighting issues, especially with the form of their openers. While the team managed to secure a win, concerns remain, particularly regarding the openers' dip in form, which they'll hope to address in this match.
Maintaining a consistent opening partnership will be crucial for Pakistan's momentum in upcoming matches. Their middle order will also be expected to step up, compensating for any early losses.
Form Guide - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, with a form line of LLWLW, lost to a dominant South African side in their last game. However, they showcased their batting prowess in that match and will look to carry that momentum forward. Their chase against the South Africans displayed resilience, and they'll be eager to capitalize on this against a Pakistani bowling lineup that showed signs of vulnerability in the middle overs. The middle-order's performance, especially, will be vital for Sri Lanka to anchor their innings. Any early wickets could see them relying on their finishers to set or chase a competitive total.
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Players to Watch
For Pakistan, the spotlight is on Imam-ul-Haq, who needs to find form at the top. On the Sri Lankan side, Charith Asalanka's consistency, especially in the middle overs, is crucial for setting or chasing big scores. Furthermore, Asalanka's recent stellar performance against South Africa, scoring a 65-ball 79, proves he's in good touch and can be a game-changer.
Imam-ul-Haq's performance will be under scrutiny, as his runs at the top are vital for setting the stage. Asalanka's role in the Sri Lankan middle order also holds importance, especially when navigating through Pakistan's spin attack.
While Fakhar Zaman's form is a concern for Pakistan, Abdullah Shafique may get a chance in the playing XI. Sri Lanka might rethink their bowling strategy, considering the return of Maheesh Theekshana to the squad. Given Theekshana's potential return, it could bolster Sri Lanka's bowling attack and provide an additional spin option against the Pakistani batsmen.
Adjustments in the playing XI can greatly influence the match's dynamics. Both teams will be making strategic decisions based on the opposition's strengths and weaknesses.
Pitch and Weather Report
Hyderabad is expected to host a high-scoring game, given the batter-friendly pitch. With an average score of 296 in recent matches and a rain-free forecast with temperatures around 33°C, fans are in for a treat. Taking into account the pitch's history and current conditions, teams winning the toss may opt to bat first, aiming to set a challenging target.
A high-scoring game always keeps the spectators on the edge of their seats. Captains will have to strategize whether to capitalize on the batting-friendly conditions or exploit any early moisture for their bowlers.
Team Line Up
Pakistan (possible): Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Babar Azam (capt), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Abdullah Shafique
Sri Lanka (possible): Dasun Shanaka (capt), Matheesha Pathirana, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dunith Wellalage, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dilshan Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana, Pathum Nissanka
Sri Lanka might adjust their bowling line-up following the South Africa match. Maheesh Theekshana, previously injured, is available for Tuesday and may replace Kasun Rajitha.
Cricket fans won't want to miss the live action scheduled for 2 PM IST, available on the Star Sports Network. For those who prefer digital platforms, the match will be streaming on Disney+Hotstar. Conveniently, mobile users can access this stream for free.
As the World Cup progresses, both teams have marked their presence. Pakistan, despite securing a win against the Netherlands, showed some vulnerabilities. Conversely, Sri Lanka, although lacking points, displayed commendable spirit against a formidable South African lineup. As they face off, past performances and strategies will undoubtedly influence their approach.
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