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Monday November 28, 2022

Pakistan seek to avenge World T20 semifinal defeat

Pakistan will see a reshuffled top order with Imam going out and Babar joined by Rizwan at the top of the order

April 05, 2022
Australias Nathan Ellis (R) reacts after being bowled by Pakistans Mohammad Wasim (L) during the third and final one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium inLahoreon April 2, 2022. -AFP
Australia's Nathan Ellis (R) reacts after being bowled by Pakistan's Mohammad Wasim (L) during the third and final one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium inLahoreon April 2, 2022. -AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan will seek to avenge the T20 World Cup semi-final defeat when they take on Australia in their one-off T20 International at Gaddafi Stadium here on Tuesday.

Pakistan, having been unbeaten in the group stage of the World Cup, were beaten by Australia by five wickets. It will be a very different looking Australia side for this game, though, with only three players from that semi-final - Stoinis, Aaron Finch and Adam Zampa - set to take the field with the rest absent for a variety of seasons.

Key players for Pakistan will be Mohammad Rizwan who being the top-scorer with 462 runs in the last 10 matches has an average of 51 with a strike rate of 129. Babar Azam has 339 runs from his last 10 matches. Shadab Khan has been the best bowler for Pakistan with 14 wickets from his last 9 matches while bowling at an economy rate of 5.94 and a strike rate of 15. Mohammad Wasim has picked up 13 wickets from his last 6 matches.

Adam Zampa has been the best bowler for Australia, having picked up 14 wickets from his last 9 matches while bowling at an economy rate of 6.49 and a strike rate of 15.

Pakistan will see a reshuffled top order with Imam going out and Babar joined by Rizwan at the top of the order. While Babar is the No. 1-ranked T20I batter, Rizwan is ranked No. 2 in what is a formidable pairing. Fakhar Zaman is likely to take the number 3 spot.

Shadab may be available after injury kept him out of the ODI series. If Shadab plays, he will bolster the Pakistan attack which also has Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf. Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir could also be considered.

A one-off T20I at the end of the tour does not come with a huge amount of context, but if the last two ODIs are anything to go by, the atmosphere in Lahore should at least be terrific with the game starting after the heat of the day has passed.

What either team can take from the match is debatable, but it’s another game on the road to the next men’s T20 World Cup later this year in Australia.

It’s a meeting of two in-form T20I sides: Australia have won ten of their last 12 matches and Pakistan 11 of their last 12 - the only defeat being their T20 World Cup semi-final exit.

For Australia, Cameron Green and Marnus Labuschagne could make their T20I debuts and Travis Head could play his first match in the format since 2018.

The two teams have played 24 T20Is, Pakistan having won 12 of them and Australia 10.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afrid, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne,, Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa.

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