Pakistan should consider themselves on the right side of luck after their opening T20I versus Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. There were predictions of rain before the match and there were a couple of interruptions. In the middle of the Pakistan innings, the heavens opened up after which the visitors could manage 107 runs in 15 overs on the backs of skipper Babar Azam’s fifty.
The target was then revised to 119 after which Aaron Finch went hammer and tongs to put the hosts on the driver’s seat. The Aussie skipper was severe on speedster Mohammad Irfan, who was making a comeback after a gap of three years. The onslaught put Australia ahead of the DLS par score. But after the first ball of the fourth over by Mohammad Amir, the heavens opened up significantly.
With Australia’s score at 41/0 in 3.1 overs, play never resumed with rain dominating. The second T20I is scheduled to be played on Tuesday, November 5 at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. The venue will be hosting its maiden T20I after playing host to 9 ODIs. The average score in Canberra in the One Dayers is in excess of 300. There are no rain predictions with a cool atmosphere in store.
The Australian top-order is in red-hot form. David Warner is unbeaten after four T20Is this summer. Finch was at his best at the SCG. The middle-order hasn’t had much of a hit owing to the strong show from the likes of Warner and Finch. Adam Zampa would be keen to make amends after an odd off-day last time. Starc, Richardson, Cummins and Agar are in good enough rhythm.
David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
Pakistan should bench Mohammad Irfan, who had a nightmare like outing in Sydney. Mohammad Hasnain, who’s known for his raw pace, can replace the left-arm pacer. Fakhar Zaman got back-to-back golden ducks and he will look for a better performance. Babar scored a fifty, but it’s time for the others to get amongst the runs. Rizwan had a decent game on his national comeback.
Babar Azam (C), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Iftikhar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain
Focus will be on
Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan)
Fakhar Zaman has loads of potential on his shoulders, but he hasn’t been able to materialize it thus far. Barring four half-centuries, he has under-performed. In his last four T20Is, the southpaw has scored only 13 runs. In fact, this year, he averages a mere 6.86, scoring a mere 48 runs in seven matches. His last half-century was a knock of 91 versus Australia at the Harare Sports Club in June 2018.
Aaron Finch (Australia)
Aaron Finch has shown great form in the four T20Is Australia have played this summer. Leaving aside the duck in the third Lanka T20I where he was caught down the leg side, he has found his timing. In the last game, he almost took his team to safety with his blistering stroke-play. If Pakistan bowlers don’t get rid of him early then things could go downhill for them very quickly.
Head to Head
Matches – 21 | Australia won – 7 | Pakistan won – 12 | Tie – 1, N/R- 1
4- Wickets Shadab Khan needs to complete 50 T20I wickets.
TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match Timings – 19:10 local time, 13:40 IST (08:10 AM GMT).
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