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Malik expects tough series against Sri Lanka

cricket Updated: Dec 21, 2008 20:07 IST

AP
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Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik thinks Sri Lanka will make a tough opponent as replacement for India, which canceled next month's cricket tour in the wake of the militant rampage in Mumbai.

"We all are disappointed that India is not coming to Pakistan, but Sri Lanka is also a good team," Malik told reporters in the southern port city of Karachi on Friday.

Sri Lanka has agreed to replace India and play three test matches, three one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game in Pakistan shortly after finishing the series against Bangladesh on Jan. 16.

"There's a huge interest in both countries when India and Pakistan play against each other but that's not the case now and we are gearing for Sri Lanka," Malik said.

New unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis baffled experienced batsmen of both India and Pakistan during the Asia Cup in Pakistan earlier this year as Sri Lanka successfully defended its title. "We are going to watch closely the videotapes of how Mendis has thus far bowled in international cricket and then they also have experienced Muttiah Muralitharan," Malik said. "It will be a tough series for us because Sri Lanka has been doing well in international cricket, but we have not played any test cricket this year." Security concerns of foreign teams have badly hampered Pakistan's opportunities to stage cricket matches this year. Australia refused to tour in March, denying Pakistan at least three matches against the world's top-ranked test side.

"After the Sri Lankan tour I do hope that more teams would come to Pakistan," Malik said.

The Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September was canceled after five teams _ Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England and the West Indies _ refused to participate due to security reserva