KARACHI - Pakistan is all poised to return to test arena after remaining in wilderness for over a year when they take on Sri Lanka in the first game of the rubber here Saturday at the National Stadium. For reasons beyond its control Pakistan could not play at home or abroad for over 14 months and it was Sri Lanka's act of friendship that ultimately provided them an opportunity to the host a test series. The Islanders accepted an invitation to come and play here after India refused to undertake the scheduled test due to alleged security reasons. Pakistan grabbed the opportunity and even agreed to a shortened tour, split in two parts. The Lankan's came here about a month back to play a three ODI series which they won 2-1 and returned about five days ago to complete its commitment to play two test series hoping to extend their winning act in longer version of the game. Under new captain Younis Khan the host are expected to retain its overall test supremacy over the Lankan's who have managed only seven wins out of 32 tests played between the two countries spanning over two decades after Sri Lanka got test status. Younis who replaced Shoaib Malik as the new leader of the team sounded confident to maintain the string of success that the team had earned over the opponents at the National Stadium. In the last test played here between them, Pakistan staged a come back to beat Lankans by six wickets to neutralize the advantage tourists had taken by winning a test earlier played at Faisalabad. At National Stadium since it became a test venue in mid-fifties, Pakistan only lost once against Nasir Hussain's England otherwise the home team had won or drawn every test played there. Younis would too would use the luck factor to win the test. "Who would not like to win, I want my team to put up good fighting performance and if in the process they win it would be great. Winning or losing is part of sports but putting up a gritty fight was more important in a competition," he said. He said Sri Lanka was not a weak opponent. "They have matured and is an in form team. It was in touch with the longer version of game for quite some time than Pakistan. It has some reliable batsmen but its main strength," he said, are pacer Chaminda Vaas and spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. "These two could be dangerous for the home team," he said. Commenting on his team strength, he said it would be pace bowling and hoped that Danish Kaneria would be effective on the pitch prepared for the test. He described the pitch prepared for the test as good. He added he was not going to extend any excuse for a loss. Cricketers were professionals and they should play in any kind of condition and perform, he maintained. He said the team could do well if it played to an agreed plan. The player had to follow whatever plan was laid for the match or the day. He refuted speculation that there was difference between him and the selection committee head. He said arguments or holding discussion for finalizing 15 for the test was a routine matter and those could not be described as differences. Pakistani selectors and the team management finalized test 15 and picking the playing 11, he said was the right of the captain and the team management. He disclosed that he had already finalized 12 for the test but had avoided naming the playing eleven. Those who have not been considered for 12 were Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam and Ahmed Shahzad. Sri Lankan is expected to finalize its XI before the start of play at 10 AM. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene is confident -- but not ready to rule out Pakistan just yet. "Both the teams have exceptional cricketers and we thoroughly enjoyed our Test cricket over the last 12 months and have some good wins against top sides. We would love to continue that," said Jayawardene. "I know Pakistan has not played Tests for some time but you still can't underestimate their capabilities so it's going to be a good tough series." Sri Lanka lost the limited overs two-day tour match by 112 runs ahead of the Test, but Jayawardene believed it provided enough practice for his players. "It was good for all of us, we were trying to do different things," said Jayawardene, who steps down as captain after the series. "I have thoroughly enjoyed the captaincy and look forward to the last two Tests as captain. You can still be a leader when you are not the captain." The team: Pakistan: Younis Khan (captain), Salman Butt, Khuram Manzoor, Misbahul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Faisal Iqbal, Yasir Arafat, Kamran Akmal, Umer Gul, Danish Kaneria, Muhammad Talha and Sohail khan. Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawerdene (captain), Malinda Warnapura, Tharanga Paranavitana (uncapped batsman), Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawerdene, Chaminda Vaas, Muttuiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Chamra Kapugedera, Ferveez Mahroof, Dilhara Farnando, Thilan Thushara, Suranga Lakmal(uncapped paceman). Umpires: Simon Tufel and Steve Davis. Reserved umpire: Zamir Haider. Match Referee:Chris Broad.