An unprecedented result, Umar Akmal’s continued failures and emerging Sri Lankan talents; Pakistan vs Sri Lanka T20I series definitely had a lot to offer. Here are the 5 takeaways from the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka T20I series.
When Umar Akmal burst onto the scene for Pakistan after the 2008 U-19, few would have imagined that his career would go down as it has. After a promising PSL and a call up to the national team, the onus was on Umar Akmal to finally deliver on the promise he’s shown since his younger days. A couple of golden ducks meant Akmal failed to deliver yet again. The same can be said for his teammate Ahmed Shehzad, who also was dropped after underwhelming performances in the first two games. Is it the end of the road for the two?
The Sri Lankan wave of talent began with the era of Muttiah Muralitharan, Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas which was followed by the generation of Kumar Sangakarra, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Lasith Malinga. While the generation of Dilshan Munaweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne failed to live up to their hype, Sri Lankan fans would hope that their newest generations do justice. The likes of Avishka Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Kumara have shown glimpses of their talent and one would hope that they continue to do so.
Pakistan’s rise to the top in the T20 rankings was built on the performances of their star batsman Babar Azam. One of the only players to average more than 50 in ODIs and T20Is, Babar Azam failed to deliver in this series which resulted in the capitulation of Pakistan’s batting order. Azam could only muster a total of 43 runs in the series with an underwhelming strike rate of 82.69
Pakistan’s consistency of letting chances slip continued against Sri Lanka. Captain Sarfaraz, in particular, was guilty of letting stumping chances miss on crucial moments, while his troops dropped and fumbled giving enough meme content to the netizens. Fielding continues to be a department of worry for Pakistan, right since their World Cup debacle.
Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka’s spearhead, clearly has better days in his international career. With the retirement cloud mulling over the veteran, Sri Lanka’s call for a new leader of the attack has been answered by Nuwan Pradeep in recent months. After a hot and cold international career, Pradeep picked himself up in the World Cup and continued his run of form in this series picking up 7 wickets in the two matches he played. It might be early to call it, but he does seem ready to lead the Lankan attack in the near future.