Australia and Pakistan will take on each other in 1st ODI at Sharjah International Stadium. Australia will be carrying a lot of momentum into the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, having won 3-2 against India.
Australia ended a long drought after the series win against India and would be full of confidence. The Aaron Finch led team ticked all the boxes to thrash India in ODI series by 3-2 after losing first two ODI’s.
Preparing to confront an inexperienced Pakistan outfit coached by Mickey Arthur, Australia have done their homework.
There was a sense of familiarity when Justin Langer’s team landed in India last month, preparing to square off against a side that had recently spent two months in Australia.
The same can’t be said of the five-match ODI series that starts in Sharjah on Friday.
Date: Friday March 22, 2019
Timing: 04:00 PM PKT
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Weather: A cloudy day is predicted in Sharjah on Friday with the humidity levels high during the afternoon.
Conditions / Pitch Report: Sharjah hasn’t hosted an ODI for over a year, but the pitch looks notably dry, which will bring quality spinners into the game. Conditions are expected to be humid and sunny, with no rain expected
Head to Head:
Matches: 98 | Australia: 62 | Pakistan: 32 | NR: 4
Australia: W W W L L (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: L W L L W
Usman Khawaja was sensational form the team against India and notched up two centuries and a 90. Peter Handscomb has also looked solid in the middle and in a place like UAE where spin will be a major factor, Khawaja and Handscomb would be the mainstays of Australian batting lineup.
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell may be rested from the first one-day international against Pakistan as the tourists recover from a stomach bug that has hit the team in the United Arab Emirates. Maxwell missed training on Wednesday, two days ahead of Friday’s opener in Sharjah.
Australia’s Probable XI:
1. Aaron Finch (capt), 2. Usman Khawaja,, 3. Peter Handscomb, 4. Marcus Stoinis, 5. Shaun Marsh, 6. Ashton Turner, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Nathan Lyon, 9. Pat Cummins, 10. Adam Zampa, 11. Jhye Richardson
Pakistan have rested a lot of their key players. Veteran batsman Shoaib Malik will lead the side in the absence of regular skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Umar Akmal and Junaid Khan have been given chances on the basis of their PSL performance. Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim would be two important players for the side as their all-round abilities would serve the team in both the departments.
Pakistan’s Probable XI:
1. Imam-ul-Haq, 2. Shan Masood, 3. Haris Sohail, 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Shoaib Malik (capt), 6. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7. Faheem Ashraf 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Yasir Shah, 10. Mohammad Amir, 11. Mohammad Hasnain / Junaid Khan
Players to watch:
1. Shoaib Malik – Batsman, Pakistan
Skipper of the Pakistan can have a good start to the series if he takes off in a batsman friendly pitch in Sharjah on Friday. Malik is a smart player and plays well to the situation. He has been very consistent with the runs for Pakistan in the last year and could be one of the most important players in the series.
2. Umar Akmal – Batsman, Pakistan
Pakistan needs Umar Akmal to be at the very top of his game. And if he manages that, Pakistan are definitely on their way to a victory. In fine-form, Umar Akmal has had no rust coming at the back of a successful season at the PSL. Umar Akmal’s form is imperative to Pakistan’s success, and the batsman could very well turn the match on its head. Umar Akmal could have a good evening on Friday.
3. Marcus Stoinis – All-rounder, Australia
Arguably the most in-form player in this Australian team, Marcus Stoinis comes to this side after a very successful BBL campaign with Melbourne Stars. He had a good series against India as well in and will be eager to extend that form in this series as well.
4. Usman Khawaja – Batsman, Australia
The player of the series against India, Usman Khawajja showed why he is one of the best at handling pressure situations. Khawaja struck 383 runs, including two centuries, in Australia’s 3-2 series win over India earlier this month. Khawaja is capable of a huge knock that could have a big impact in the game and is Australia’s trump card.
Stats and Travia:
- Pakistan last won a bilateral ODI series against Australia in 2002, one of just two such victories over the Australians in their history.
Australian skipper Aaron Finch hopes his team carry the momentum of a series win in India to their five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Pakistan starting in Sharjah from Friday.
“It is about trying to maintain our momentum that we got in India,” said Finch of the 3-2 come from behind win earlier this month — Australia’s first series win in India since 2009.
Mickey Arthur hints at what the team management will look at, during this series.
“We have a few places left so performance here is crucial for those final places that Inzi and I have identified.”