Thursday, December 08, 2022

Australia weak to field in Super League against formidable Pakistan


Australia will be eager to experiment, with Green and Labuschagne coming in for Marsh and Smith; Pakistan will miss injured Shadabi

big picture

After a historic and much-anticipated three-Test series, comprising 15 grueling and emotionally charged days, the limited-overs leg of Australia’s tour of Pakistan may feel somewhat neglected by comparison. The anti-climax has been exacerbated by a severely weakened Australia, who are missing several stars due to rest, injuries and personal reasons.

While Australia will undoubtedly experiment and start the underdog against a formidable looking Pakistan, the current World Cup Super League cycle with three ODIs has a lot on the line for both the teams.

Australia and Pakistan will be looking to field in another T20 World Cup year amid an increasingly rare ODI event. Australia have won three of their series during the cycle, but are in seventh place with just six matches played, while Pakistan are 10th after a 3–0 loss to England in their last ODI hit-out against England in July. Is.

Similarly, Australia last played an ODI against West Indies in July, and they have played only four ODIs in total since December 2020.

As their 50-over drought ends, Australia and Pakistan will be eager to put their best foot forward towards the World Cup in India, only 18 months away.

form guide

Pakistan LLLWL (last five completed matches; most recent first)
Australia WLWLW

in the headlines

After a hard domestic summer, Aaron Finch He has a chance to ease his pressure with a big series in Pakistan. After memorably becoming the first Australian captain to lift the T20 World Cup trophy, a hardworking Finch struggled through the season with a persistent knee injury during the BBL and the subsequent T20I series against Sri Lanka. The 35-year-old is keen to stay in next year’s World Cup but his fall in form has left people upset. Finch has not played an ODI since December 2020 but during his press conference on Monday expressed confidence of being able to come back to the 50-over format comfortably. He will be relied upon to bolster Australia’s inexperienced batting line-up, and if he fires it should ease the mounting pressure on his position.
Shaheen Shah Afridi Lighted up the Test series, though not much rewarded for his hard work on mostly stale pitches and against Australia’s experienced batting line-up. Without his new best friend David Warner, along with Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, Australia’s top order appears a bit volatile and ripe for Shaheen if he can get the white ball around. He will be eager to return to ODIs after being costly during the three-match series in South Africa and the last ODI in England last year.

team news

*Mitchell Marsh will be ruled out of the opening ODI with a hip injury, with rising star Cameron Greene replacing him. Smith had previously been ruled out of the series with an elbow injury, which could open the door for Test specialist Marnus Labuschagne to add to his 13 ODI appearances. Josh Inglis tested positive on Monday and will be in isolation for five days but is unlikely to change the team combination with Alex Carey for wicketkeeping.

Australia will experiment with the team, which includes uncapped ODI players Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis and Mitchell Swepson.

Australia (Possible): 1 Aaron Finch (c), 2 Ben McDermott, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Travis Head, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Cameron Green, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Ben Dwarshuis, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Nathan Ellis

Pakistan are likely to be without legspinner Shadab Khan for the first two ODIs after suffering a groin injury during the PSL. They have a strong team, including a contingent that has played in Tests, but dropped former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and all-rounder Imad Wasim. They added uncapped spinner Asif Afridi and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Haris after strong performances in the PSL, while an ODI debut for Abdullah Shafiq, who starred in Tests at the top of the order, could be forthcoming.

Pakistan (Possible): 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Abdullah Shafiq, 5 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 6 Mohammad Haris, 7 Faheem Ashraf, 8 Asif Afridi, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Raufi

pitch and conditions

Ahead of the Test match, the pitch is expected to be dry and batting-friendly, although reverse swing between dew conditions under lights could be a factor. Very hot conditions are forecast in Lahore with a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.

statistics and general knowledge

  • Australia has a commanding record against Pakistan in ODIs with 68 wins in 101 completed matches.
  • *1210 GMT: The preview was updated after Cricket Australia issued a statement.

    Tristan Lovelet is a journalist based in Perth

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