Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pakistan to Face Australia in a Virtual Knock-Out in Mohali

Australia Vs Pakistan - Mohali, 24th March 2016 - ICC WT20 Match Preview

The ICC WT20 is a short tournament and you cannot make too many mistakes. There is not much time to make a comeback and you can be eliminated even before you blink an eye.

Both Pakistan and Australia are already facing a must win game, Pakistan more so having won just a solitary game against Bangladesh and this being their last match. Australia still has a game in hand against India after this so their situation is not that desperate but they would not like it to leave it that late.

The Australian batting has stuttered and stumbled losing wickets in clusters against both New Zealand and then against Bangladesh, so they will be looking to a stable and a much more convincing show. Khawaja has been good at the top of the order and a fluid batting line up has not yet lived up to the high expectations that is set for any Aussie team. Smith has also been out of touch and he might consider moving down the order to accommodate Maxwell or Marsh higher up.

The Pakistani bowling has been blowing hot and cold too, with Amir proving expensive in the last game against the Kiwis at this very ground. Irfan and Sami have also not been consistent and hence it becomes imperative that the Pakistani bowling attack is sharp and penetrative because so much depends on them for Pakistan to do well.

The Aussie bowling comprises of all rounders in Watson, Faulkner and Marsh along with the spin of Adam Zampa who was the man of the match and bowled very well against Bangladesh. The pace bowlers have left a lot to be desired and Hastings and Josh Hazlewood will have to lift their game up against a weak Pakistan batting line up.

Pakistan were given a flying start courtesy Sharjeel Khan against New Zealand but they lost their way against the Kiwi spinners and coach Waqar put most of the blame on Shahzad and Akmal for that debacle and rightly so. Pakistan needs Hafeez back to bolster their batting and Shoaib Malik also needs to take up more responsibility for them to succeed.

The match will be played at Mohali, where Pakistan suffered a defeat against New Zealand and with that pitch suiting the spinners, Pakistan might consider playing an extra spinner in this do or die match. Australia will be confident of overcoming an inconsistent Pakistan side but they will need to fire at full blast to be able to do so.

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