Defending Champion Pakistan begin their Asia Cup 2014 campaign against Sri Lanka at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium. Both the team look confident coming into the match. Sri Lanka has the psychological advantage over their opponents as they would be very familiar with ground conditions as they visited Bangladesh a month back registering a comprehensive win over the host nation.
As far as the defending champions are concerned, Pakistan would like to cash in over their upper hand in their last encounter against Sri Lanka in UAE, when they clinched the series 3-2.
Captain Angelo Mathews in the company of experienced players like, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, should be able to fill in the absence of senior batsman and electric fielder Tillakaratne Dilshan who is out due to injured finger. Skipper Angelo Mathews has got sufficient experience to lead the team and is playing his role down the order with the bat as well. Sri Lanka would be happy by the performance of Kusal Parera as he hit a ton in final ODI against Bangladesh.
The bowling department of Sri Lanka is well set with Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal and Dhammika Prasad. Spinner Ajantha Mendis should compensate the absence of Rangana Herath.
Pakistan team has finally found a stable opening pair with Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad after trying several combinations. Apart from this, they have Mohammad Hafeez who is in excellent form, Bilawal Bhatti who has impressed with his all-round skills, Shoaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi who should come handy despite hurting his jaw during practice sessions along with skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq, who is their backbone of batting line up.
In bowling deparment, Junaid Khan with his pace has been on an exceptional run. The team also has Umar Gul who is an experienced bowler, some young talent like Mohammad Talha and spin genius Saeed Ajmal. Pakistan looks like a confident unit good enough to defend the title as the champions in Asia.
Both the teams look well in shape with the right mix of young blood and experienced players in their side. They would like to cash on both the fronts to begin the Asia Cup 2014 campaign with a win.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Fawad Alam, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal (wk), Umar Gul
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Ashan Priyanjan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.