Having whitewashed Sri Lanka in the T20I series, Pakistan now look ahead to the ODI games, where they are hoping to carry the confidence and momentum gained. While the captain acknowledges the importance this series has on an international front, she is also wishing to play a normal game without pressurizing the team.
ICC will start its new championship cycle for the 2025 World Cup, wherein all teams will be struggling to make it to the championship without having to undergo the Qualifiers. Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the recent games has dropped them to the tenth position, whereas Pakistan too will try to improve their international standing. And, Bowling coach, Saleem Jaffer, too supported Bismah Maroof’s stand while showing much confidence in the team’s bowling side.
Bismah Maroof said, “The way we have performed at the T20s, we would definitely try to carry that confidence. This is an important championship as we have points at stake. We’ll be focused and try to gain the points and win the series.”
The history of ODI games against Sri Lanka hasn’t been good news for the Pakistanis. Having lost 21 of 30 games will surely develop pressure on the team. But the captain assures that they will try to forget the bygones. The games as the captain said, are important for the team to prepare especially after a heavy World Cup tour and will also guide them through their next world cup championship.
“Past results aren’t on our mind right now. We will move ahead with same confidence from T20 series and will try to win the series on our home ground,” said Bismah Maroof.
While speaking of Saleem Jaffer’s work on the bowling unit, the captain said, “The girls have started responding well to his techniques. Our fast bowling back up will definitely be ready under his guidance.”
Sri Lankan captain, Chamari Athapaththu on the other hand, is positive about the upcoming series after a disappointing T20 series. “This is a different format for us. The series is important because we need points in the ICC table. We’ll try to play positive and good cricket in this tournament.”
While speaking of team’s last few years and their deteriorating performance in the game, Atapaththu stated, “We have a few youngsters, tough few years but we will stick to the plan. I keep encouraging the team and the youngsters.”
Atapaththu also spoke of franchise cricket and its importance, especially with the kind of opportunities it presents for the youngsters. Countries like India, Australia, England and now Pakistan have their own leagues and the captain is affirmative about such leagues and their advantages.
Meanwhile, Pakistan bowling coach Saleem Jaffer also congratulated the Pakistani bowling unit for their efforts in the T20 series. “The spin department is doing a wonderful job. We need to look after our fast bowlers as we tend to rely on only two of them. We are trying to find some new fast bowlers now. We do have some room for a fast bowler and some batting all-rounder for the team.”
He further added, “T20 was an amazing series. We experimented a little bit like indulging some new players and shuffling some batting all-rounders. A good game over all.”
Speaking of his plans against Sri Lanka, he said, “We are focusing more on dot balls. We want bowlers to bowl more of them. When there are dot balls, batter automatically are prone to give their wickets away. We saw our T20 games and we almost have 55% dot balls. It is a positive sign. For batters too, they must avoid dot balls. When they try to reduce the dot balls, the score is advanced by 20-25 runs.”
Even the coach has acknowledged the series’ importance for ICC rankings in order to make it to the World Cup 2025.
Pak vs SL Fixtures:
1st ODI: 1st June 2022
2nd ODI: 3rd June 2022
3rd ODI 5th June 2022
Pakistan: Bismah Maroof (C), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gull Feroza, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin and Sidra Nawaz.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (C), Hasini Perera, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Hansima Karunarathne, Prasadani Weerakkody, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Ama Kanchana, Achini Kulasuriya, Inoka Ranaweera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Sugandika Kumari, Sachini Nisansala, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Anushka Sanjeewani.