Pakistan v Australia: Second T20I Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

Pakistan romped to victory in the Twenty20 International series opener against Australia in Abu Dhabi on the strength of their bowling and the form of Babar Azam.

Australia were completely at sea during a difficult chase and, once the early wickets had gone, down they had little hope of getting back into the game. They now face a must-win clash in Dubai to stay in the series.



Pakistan v Australia
Friday, 26 October
Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Dubai
18:00

To Win Match
Pakistan 82/100
Tie 35/1
Australia 21/20 

Pakistan

While the win in the opener was emphatic, there will be a few points that disturb skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur. Chief among those concerns ranks the dual collapses Pakistan suffered after being asked to bat first. Had it not been for Babar, Pakistan might have struggled to make 125 - and it would have been a different ball game.

Sharpness in the field is another area where Pakistan have improved in recent times, but one where progress still needs to be made. Sarfraz was seen yelling at his charges during the chase after some put in less than 100 percent in the field.

The return of Imad Wasim to the Pakistan line-up has added another dimension to an already potent bowling attack. The left-arm orthodox spinner struck a dual blow early on and showed that he knows how to bowl in the UAE.

Faheem Ashraf continues to be one of the finds of 2018 for Pakistan - and again contributed with the ball against Australia, but still needs to answer some questions with the bat. His coach and captain will be hopeful that Faheem and Shadab Khan can continue to pull their weight with the willow and offset an inconsistent middle-order.

Australia

Australia were exceedingly poor in the opening game of the series. They showed a lack of killer instinct with the ball that allowed Pakistan back into the contest - and their batting was woeful.

The team clearly have not settled on their ideal combination with both senior paceman Mitchell Starc and vice-captain Mitchell Marsh left out of the line-up for the first match.

The focus for Australia is likely to be on their approach to spin once again, with slow bowlers troubling the tourists. Players concerned about the axe in the Australia camp will have the cold comfort of knowing almost every single player in the XI had a bad day in Abu Dhabi.

Aaron Finch will need to pull this team up if they are to push Pakistan in the remaining two games. He is the only top-order man with a proven long-term international track record and will be expected to show it.

Verdict: Pakistan 82/100
Pakistan blew Australia off the park in the opening game - and it should be too steep an ask to expect the visitors to level the series just two days later.


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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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