Lahore: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq although admitted that Sri Lanka's bowling has weakened with the retirement of the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga but said that they remain a potentially dangerous side and could not be taken lightly.
"No doubt Sri Lanka's bowling has been weakened with the retirement of Murali and Malinga but they remain a formidable side and it would be foolish on our part to underestimate them at any time in the upcoming series," Misbah told reporters.
The captain also noted that the Lankans have introduced some talented new bowlers and the upcoming series will be a closely fought contested.
"If you look at both sides they are evenly balanced, so it is going to be a tough series. The islanders may have struggled in recent Tests but they have world players in their ranks," he noted.
Misbah, who won the overseas Test player of the year award after scoring 632 runs in six Test matches in the last 12 months as captain, said he was optimistic about his team.
"We are without some senior players but we still have a good combination. Our strength is our spin attack. I am hoping for sporting tracks in the Tests and want those to be result oriented because the only way we can improve our rankings is by winning matches and be positive," he said.
Misbah also rubbished that he was too defensive and not positive in his approach as captain. "I have evolved as a player and as a captain in the last one year and I am learning every day. But as captain my job is to ensure we don't perform badly and if we are in positions to win matches we should go for the kill and think positively."
Pakistan and Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and a T20 International in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. First Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 18.
Thereafter, Pakistan will take on England in January-February next year.