Back-to-back Tests for Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka will play four back-to-back Test matches within a span of a month, as Pakistan are set to arrive for a two-Test series at the conclusion of the Australian tour.

Sri Lanka will play both Tests against Australia in Galle. The first will be held from 29 June to 3 July, followed by the second from 8 to 12 July.

Just four days after completion of the Australia Test series, Pakistan will play their first Test from 16 to 20 July, also in Galle, followed by the second Test at P. Sara Oval from 24 to 28 July.

The Pakistan team will arrive in the country on 6 July and play a three-day warm-up encounter at Colts from 11 to 13 July before heading to Galle.

The series is part of the ICC Test Championship cycle 2021-2023.

Sri Lanka is presently ranked 4th with 40 points in the ICC Test Championship 2021-23 cycle with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss from 6 Tests.

Australia are presently ranked 1st with 72 points, while South Africa is second with 60 points. India are ranked third with 77 points, as they have played 11 Tests compared to 7 by South Africa, and their point percentage is 58.33 compared to 71.43 by South Africa.

Sri Lanka can grab up to 48 points from the four upcoming Test matches which will give them a great chance of even leading the table regardless of the outcome of the other Test series being played during the time, which also includes the rescheduled fifth Test between India and England from 2021.

Meanwhile, losing both series will result in Sri Lanka slipping down at least two positions.

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunarathne will be hoping their favourite Test venue, Galle International Stadium, will continue to be lucky for them, as the spinners have already troubled the Aussies during the limited over matches. However, their Test attack will be totally different to the one-day spin attack, which may cause even more trouble for the visitors given Galle’s spin friendly wickets.

 Pakistan squad:  Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah

By Anjana Kaluarachchi