Pakistan have blown hot and cold in recent times. They were far from their best in the Asia Cup 2023 and the subsequent warm-up games ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023. The ‘Men in Green’ had to dig deep at various stages of their 81-run win against the Netherlands in their opening fixture in the ongoing World Cup. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka leaked 428 runs against South Africa before losing by 102. Pakistan and Sri Lanka cross swords in the eighth match of the marquee event on Tuesday, October 10, in Hyderabad.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra raised concerns over Pakistan’s misfiring top-order. In the game against the Netherlands, the former world champions lost their first three batters with a score of 38, inside the first Powerplay. Fakhar Zaman’s poor run of form has been ongoing for a long time and Imam-ul-Haq has also not been as consistent as he used to be. Skipper Babar Azam also threw his wicket away after a slowish start against the Dutch side.

“Pakistan won their first game and beat the Netherlands. It was a tough game, but they still came out on top. But the top batting order issue still looms Pakistan, the openers have not been able to fire, and Babar Azam has not been able to turn up lately as well,” Chopra said while hosting JioCinema’s daily sports show, Aakashvani.

While speaking about Sri Lanka, the 46-year-old noted that the Dasun Shanaka-led side is missing experienced players like Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, and Maheesh Theekshana.

“On the other hand, Sri Lanka conceded a lot of runs in their first game, even if the pitch was quite flat. We can see that they miss players like Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana – who are absolutely immense for them. So, Pakistan will be looking to settle their account with Sri Lanka as the latter had defeated the former in the Asia Cup,” Chopra added.

Sri Lanka opt to bat, Maheesh Theekshana returns in ODI World Cup clash vs Pakistan

Theekshana missed Sri Lanka’s first game against South Africa as he was yet to recover fully from the hamstring tear he suffered during the Asia Cup. However, the mystery spinner is back in the side for the game against Pakistan in the ODI World Cup 2023.

Sri Lankan captain Shanaka won the toss and opted to bat first. He also announced Theekshana’s return to the side in place of Kasun Rajitha. Pakistan, on the other hand, has dropped Fakhar from the playing XI and brought in a youngster in the form of Abdullah Shafique.

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