‘It’s easy for me to lead the team with Malinga’s ideas’ – Dasun Shanaka

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Pakistan have made some changes to their squad, with mercurial batsman Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Faheem Ashraf all coming back into the team. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will also be making a comeback into the format, after not featuring in the T20 series that Pakistan last played against South Africa.

Pakistan are also blessed in the format with a litany of all-round options further down the order. Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan are all handy with the bat, and could prove to be the differential in close contests.

The tour has gone off smoothly so far, with overall satisfaction surrounding how seriously the security has been taken, and with a general feeling of optimism among the cricket loving Pakistani crowd, the T20 series promises many exciting moments with how the home team is shaping up.

In truth, Pakistan are the stronger side on paper and will be expected to dominate in all areas. But in the shortest format of the game, anything is possible, and Sri Lanka won’t be pulling any punches in their pursuit to go all out and start challenging on the tour.

Squads:

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (Capt), Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Aamir, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka, Danushka Gunathileka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana