After some terrific performance from Pakistan in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka, the men in green are expected to come up with similar form in the upcoming ODI series as well.
Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in the third match of the Test series to clinch the title after chasing a target of 377 runs.
The first ODI of the five-match series is scheduled to be played on Saturday, 11 July, at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.
Pakistan have to win the series at all costs, if they are to have any chances of even making it to the Champions Trophy in England. Pakistan players are aware of the fact and are ready for the challenge.
The ODI team will be led by Azhar Ali, who has his work cut out against Sri Lanka, which are a strong side at home. The same was said when the Test series started and Pakistan proved everyone wrong by defeating them.
Can Pakistan do it once again in the 50-over format?
The Sri Lankans are hurt by their loss against the visitors, hence they will have a huge go at Pakistan in the ODI series.
Former Pakistan player Iqbal Qasim expects the team to do well in coloured jerseys as their confidence have also increased after the recent victory.
"The morale of the team is high. Players look in good spirit and I hope they will repeat their test performance in ODI series too. Our team's morale and confidence level has been boosted from the Test series win. I hope the team will play with the same spirit and confidence in the ODI series," APP quoted Qasim as saying.
Pakistan will want to improve upon their ODI record as they were put to the sword by Bangladesh recently, losing the series 3-0. Though they defeated Zimbabwe afterwards, Sri Lanka will prove to be their biggest test in ODI format.
Though Pakistan might be missing the services of Shahid Afridi and Misbah ul-Haq (both of whom have retired from ODI cricket) they have other players such as Yasir Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Irfan, who can help the team defeat Sri Lanka.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Mukhtar Ahmed, Ahmed Shezad, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil, Immad Wasim, Rahat Ali.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Ashan Priyanjan, Nuwan Pradeep, Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Sachith Pathirana ,Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Seekuge Prasanna.
First ODI Schedule
Venue: Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
Date: 11 July 2015
Time: 10am local time (10am IST, 5:30am BST)