Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to put Pakistan in to bat in the first ODI in Dubai. On a dry surface that has historically favoured chasing teams, captain Upul Tharanga preferred batting second, perhaps also mindful of the dew factor, which is expected to play a part later on in Dubai.
Sarfraz, however, clearly stated he preferred batting first, believing Pakistan’s best chance of victory came in putting up a big score that he backed his bowlers to defend. Pakistan left out injured pacer Mohammad Amir and batsman Azhar Ali, as he continues to recover from a back niggle. Rumman Raees made a return to the starting line-up.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt. and wk), Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Gamage