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Pakistan takes on Sri Lanka with Champions Trophy spot in mind

Host, playing its first ODI series after Jayawardena and Sangakkara retired, is in rebuilding mode

Pakistan takes on Sri Lanka with Champions Trophy spot in mind - Cricket News
Pakistan has called up Mohammad Irfan, who has recovered from a hip injury sustained during the World Cup.
After clinching the Test series 2-1, Pakistan shifts focus to the One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka, the first of which takes place in Dambulla on Saturday (July 11), and apart from just trying to win the series, Pakistan will have qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy on the back of its mind.
  
“This is obviously a very important series for us and we will make sure we play well and win,” said Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s ODI captain, on the eve of the match. “Most of the players know what to expect in Sri Lanka. We are ready.”
 
Pakistan has not had a good run in ODI cricket of late. It was knocked out of the 2015 World Cup by Australia in the quarter-final and then suffered a 3-0 whitewash in Bangladesh before beating Zimbabwe 2-0 at home in what was its first home series since 2009.
 
Pakistan have called up Mohammad Irfan, who has recovered from a hip injury sustained during the World Cup, but Wahab Riaz and Haris Sohail continued to sit out because of injuries. The squad also includes two new batsmen in Mukhtar Ahmed, 22, and Bilal Asif, 29.
 
Sri Lanka, playing its first ODI series since the retirements of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara after the World Cup, is also rebuilding. It has included two brand new allrounders, Milinda Siriwardana, 29, and Sachith Pathirana, 26, both of whom bowl left-arm spin – Sri Lanka’s 15-man squad includes just six of the players who took part in the Test series.
 
The Dambulla game, a day game, is followed by day-night games in Pallekele (July 15), Colombo (July 19 and 22) and Hambantota (July 26).

Teams (from)
Pakistan:
Azhar Ali (capt), Mukhtar Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Immad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardana, Ashan Priyanjan, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachith Pathirana.

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