Pakistan Look to Bounce Back Against Slow-Starting Australia


Source: ICC

This is a game both Australia and Pakistan would have wanted to be played at a later stage. Fighting to keep their campaigns on track, neither can really afford to lose this one. The stakes are higher for Australia, who opened their account in the previous game after two defeats. Pakistan are coming off a first defeat after two wins. Two strong teams licking their wounds before a big game is a delight for neutrals. Not for those playing.

After a crushing defeat against India, Pakistan have to regroup quickly. They must forget everything from that game, and believe that they are a better side. For this, they need their best bets to fire. Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi have performed only in patches in the first three games. Seeing these two fail in crunch situations in high-pressure games can have a detrimental effect on the rest.

With room to improve in batting, Pakistan would be worried about the form of their bowlers. Naseem Shah’s replacement, Hasan Ali, has taken seven wickets and Haris Rauf five. But they have also gone for runs. Others have not taken many wickets. Afridi has struck just once with the new ball and four times in all. The spinners have not been effective. Runs against Pakistan have come in torrents, reflected in their net run rate of -0.137.

Defeat against Australia will not end their chances of qualifying, but the cumulative weight of back-to-back setbacks can take a heavy toll. Pakistan have come back from tight spots in big tournaments, but it’s been a long time since they have done that in a 50-over World Cup. Against the Aussies who have just tasted a win, Pakistan have to be at their best in every department including fielding.

It took a fightback with the ball for Australia to overpower Sri Lanka. The islanders were cruising, before the bowlers pegged them back, checked the run flow and took wickets to hasten the end of the innings. It was a clinical performance from a number of bowlers, supported by some good work in the outfield. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa’s four-wicket haul was a welcome sight for them, although spin bowling remains a concern.

Even in that win, vital parts in Australia’s batting looked rusty. That’s how they have been so far. Steve Smith and David Warner have identical tallies of 65 runs from three innings. Marnus Labuschagne is the only one who has scored above 100 runs. Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis made half-centuries in the last match, but totals of 199, 177 and 215-5 show that the five-time champions have work to do in this department.

Pat Cummins & Co will also remember that their bowling fired only in the third match. They were taken to the cleaners by South Africa. India gave them no chance despite losing three wickets for two and won for the loss of just another in the end. Australia know that to stand a chance, they have to bowl well as a unit in every match. One more slip might push them into a corner where the last five games become do-or-die affairs.

Time and Venue Details

Australia vs Pakistan, 2.00 PM. M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Expected Conditions

It might be partly cloudy. But chances of rain are not high. This is the first match at this venue. One can expect a flat pitch, with something for the slower bowlers. The small ground promises a lot of runs.

Possible XIs

Australia: There is not much room for them to make changes.

David Warner, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa.

Pakistan: Opener Imam-ul-Haq is short on runs. But they can’t drop him because the other opener, Fakhar Zaman, recently made way for Abdullah Shafique. And Shafique himself was in isolation most of this week with a virus.

Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.


Warner vs Afridi: Neither has set the stage on fire yet. But eyes will be on the two because they can define the course of a match during the early exchanges. If one of them emerges the winner after 10-12 overs, his team will be in an advantageous position.

Cummins vs Pakistan middle order: The Aussie skipper bowled his heart out in the middle overs to bring his team back in the game against Sri Lanka. He may have to play a similar role against Pakistan, who have their own batting issues to address. 

Team Speak

“They have some really good quick bowlers who can do some damage, some spin bowlers that can bowl 20 of their overs. Rizwan’s the leading run-scorer, Babar Azam’s always good, a couple of other batters that have scored a lot in ODIs lately. So they’re a really strong side pretty much in all facets.” – Pat Cummins, Australia captain.

“For us, every match is important and we are looking forward to this challenge of facing Australia. I think in our next games, we will have to take a look at our [game] awareness. If you look at all these things, I believe that this team is great in skills — not like we are below every team in the world — but we have to look at awareness. In awareness, the most important thing is fielding, we are going to figure out how we can cover the main spot when needed, that’s what I believe.” – Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan wicketkeeper.

The post Pakistan Look to Bounce Back Against Slow-Starting Australia appeared first on RevSportz | Latest Sports News.


This is a game both Australia and Pakistan would have wanted to be played at a later stage. Fighting to keep their campaigns on track, neither can really afford to…
The post Pakistan Look to Bounce Back Against Slow-Starting Australia appeared first on RevSportz | Latest Sports News. 

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