Australia are riding high after whitewashing Sri Lanka in the recently concluded three-match T20I series. They will next face Pakistan who are the top-ranked side in the format. The series is set to get underway on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Grund (SCG). The hosts will be keen on carrying the winning momentum and if they manage to whitewash the Men in Green in the three-match series, Pakistan will lose their number 1 rank in the T20Is.
A new-look Pakistan side has been picked for this tour with the regular captain Sarfaraz Ahmed sacked after losing 3-0 to Sri Lanka at home. Even the veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez haven’t been picked with Babar Azam taking over the leadership duties. The 16-year-old fast bowler Naseem Shah is also an exciting prospect who has also been backed by, the selector-cum- head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq to come good Down Under.
However, it wouldn’t be easy for a young side to go past the in-form Australia side. Having said that, the unpredictability which Pakistan brings them makes them exciting to watch. Even Australia will be wary of the same and won’t take things for granted.
Australia’s chance to become No.1 in T20Is
Meanwhile, Australia have a great chance to topple Pakistan from the number 1 position. But for that to happen, the team led by Aaron Finch shouldn’t drop the guard at any stage during the series and whitewash Pakistan. At the moment, the visitors are at the top with 274 points while Australia are at the fourth position with 262 points to their name.
If the Aussies inflict the second consecutive whitewash on Pakistan, then they will reach to 269 points while the latter will lose six points to come to the second place. At the same time, Australia will need a favour from their Trans-Tasman rivals. New Zealand and England (currently second placed in the rankings) are currently fighting it out in the five-match T20I series with the Eoin Morgan-led side leading by 1-0.
The Kiwis should win at least one game in the series to not let England grab the top position in the rankings. In that case, if England win the series by 4-1 or 3-2, they will slip to the third place and if Australia whitewashes Pakistan, the Men in Yellow will climb to the numero uno spot.
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