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Acclimatisation more important than outcome

The time it spent in Ireland and Scotland gives Pakistan an edge over the Sri Lankans, who have just reached cold and wet England

Acclimatisation more important than outcome - Cricket News
Angelo Mathews and his men will go as underdogs against a seasoned Pakistan side.
It’s the end of May and we are talking about the United Kingdom – there’s the ICC Champions Trophy to be competed for, but most participating captains have taken out time to mention the weather at least once in the lead up to the tournament.

In Birmingham, where Pakistan and Sri Lanka will play the first of the warm-up matches on Thursday (May 30), it’s hovering around the 15-degree Celsius mark with chilly winds almost through the day and occasional spells of rain. Acclimatisation has never been more crucial.

Pakistan will probably feel they have a little edge on that front, having played two One-Day Internationals each against Ireland and Scotland, though one of the games against Scotland was washed out. But while Scotland wasn’t tough for Pakistan to beat in the other ODI, Ireland did push it hard, one match ending in a tie and the other going Pakistan’s way by just two wickets.

Unlike the Pakistanis, the Sri Lankans have a tougher task on hand. Most of Sri Lanka's players have spent the best part of the last two months in the hot and humid Indian conditions, taking part in the Indian Premier League. And Angelo Mathews, the captain, was candid in saying, “We have been playing in low, slow conditions and very hot and humid conditions in the past couple months. Early summer (in England) is always going to be like this – wet – and it’s going to swing and seam.”

On paper, both teams are well balanced with a selection of seam bowlers to choose from and experienced batting units. Both teams also have at least one top-drawer spinner – Saeed Ajmal for Pakistan and Rangana Herath for Sri Lanka. That makes it a clash of equals even if the result of this warm-up fixture is less important than the two teams getting a feel of the conditions they – especially Sri Lanka – must get used to in a hurry. 

Teams (from) 
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Abdur Rehman, Asad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ehsan Adil, Imran Farhat, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Wahab Riaz. 
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Jeevan Mendis, Kushal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chanaka Welegedara.

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