Preview: Hosts Pakistan look too strong against heavily depleted Sri Lanka
The return of international cricket in Pakistan was halted for a bit after the first ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was abandoned due to persistent rain. With two more ODIs remaining in the series, the hosts would hope they get proper cricket to get things going.
At the time of writing, the 2nd ODI game was in-play.
The third ODI of the series is scheduled on the 2nd of October at the National Stadium, Karachi. Hosts Pakistan will begin as overwhelming favorites for the game for several reasons. For starters, they will be playing at home and will know the conditions well. Secondly, the current Pakistani setup is a pretty good one. Led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, the team has some most of its bases covered and had done a quite a good job in the World Cup 2019.
With opener Imam-ul-Haq and star batsman Babar Azam in form, the top-order is secured. Fakhar Zaman can have an impact too. Haris Sohail, with his clean hitting, can be one to watch out for in the lower order.
Pakistan’s strength is its bowling. In-form pacer Mohammad Amir would be leading the pack and giving him company would be left-armer Wahab Riaz. Shadab Khan’s leg-spin too might be crucial on this pitch.
Furthermore, in the last 3 ODIs between the two sides Pakistan has won all the games and has remained dominant over the Sri Lanka. The most clinching factor in favor of Pakistan this time is that 10 Sri Lankan players have pulled out of this your citing security concerns. Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne are the players who are not part of the Sri Lankan squad for the tour.
These are regular members of the Lankan roster and their absence would make a massive dent in Sri Lanka’s chances in this game on this tour. In effect, Sri Lanka is largely playing with their ‘A’ side in this match. Captain Lahiru Thirimanne would hence have a huge responsibility on his shoulders.
Avishka Fernando has been a star batsman for Sri Lanka in recent times and along with the captain would have to do the bulk of the scoring. Shehan Jayasuriya is an exciting talent and can play a big role.
Sri Lanka’s bowling looks weak in the absence of its main components. Nuwan Pradeep would be leading the pace department. Isuru Udana has been in decent form and can cause trouble to the Pakistani top-order. Apart from them, the other bowlers are inexperienced and would have to really pull their socks up to stop the Pakistani batsmen on this pitch.
Cricket Betting Tips: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
The last ODI that was played in the National Stadium, Karachi was way back in January 21, 2009 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Karachi has seen some tall totals being amassed – the highest being 374-4 by India in 2008.
The pitch must have changed over the last 10 years. However, the surface is expected to be a true one – with both batsmen and bowlers, especially the spinners, having a say. In the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we can expect a combined total of 500-520 runs.
Hosts Pakistan are overwhelming favorites for this match. They have a strong all-round unit for home conditions. And Sri Lanka have been dented with the exclusion of their major players from the squad. They might put up a fight, but Pakistan looks too strong against a depleted Sri Lanka right now. Hence, Pakistan should emerge the clear winners of this contest.