LAHORE - A 15-member Pakistan Test squad , led by veteran batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, is due to leave for Colombo today (Saturday) to play a two-Test match series against Sri Lanka starting in Galle on August 6.
Besides the team, Pakistan squad also included 10-member team management. Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan is the manager of the team while another former skipper Waqar Younis has returned as the chief coach.
Pakistan enjoyed superior track record against Sri Lanka in Test matches in their home ground, winning six matches out of 15 with the host clinching three. Pakistan lost 2009 series by 2-0 against Sri Lanka in their tour under Younus Khan. Sri Lanka’s unbeaten home record since 2006 in Test series was broken against South Africa, when they lost the two-Test matches home series by 1-0. Top fitness in hot humid and rainy conditions will be the biggest challenge for the Pakistan team. Tour will also be a great test of skills for Pakistan’s batting.
Former Zimbabwe opening batsman Grant Flower will be making his maiden trip with the team as the batting coach. His performance will be under great deal of scrutiny from the pundits of the game. Pakistan’s batting will be relying on opening trio of Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor and Shan Masood with experienced Younus Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar, Umar Akmal and reliable Misbah-u-Haq with keeper Sarfraz Ahmed to follow.
Pakistan has got three left arm fast bowlers Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz for the Test matches with right arm M Talha. Team’s main weapon in spin attack will be world class performer Saeed Ajmal with left arm spinner Abdur Rehman. However, Sri Lanka has got experienced batting in Mahela Jayawadene, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Hirmanne and Kausal Silva, while Upul Tharanga will lead spin attack in Test matches. Both Jayarwardene and Sangkkara will be looking forward to make the series memorable for them as they will be bidding farewell to the Test cricket.
The first Test match will be played from August 6-10 and the second in Colombo from August 14-18. It will be followed by three-match One-day International series. Remaining members of Pakistan one-day squad will leave for Colombo on August 18.