Fresh off a disappointing finish to their two match Test series, Australia will face off against Pakistan in a three match T20 series starting this Thursday morning (AEDT). The Aussies will be looking to salvage something from their trip to the UAE after losing the Test series 1-0 to the ‘home’ team in Pakistan.
We take a look at the three match T20 series and give our favourite tips for the series below.
Australia have shipped a bunch of Big Bash stars over to the UAE for the two-match series, which gets underway from Abu Dhabi at 3am on Thursday morning. The likes of D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Alex Carey, Glenn Maxwell and Billy Stanlake headline the specialised T20 players that have been added to the squad to join Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh and Aaron Finch from the Test squad.
For Pakistan, the T20 squad will feature a large number of the players that were successful in defeating Australia 1-0 in the Test series. Sarfraz Ahmed will skipper the side and look to continue his fantastic form with the bat from the Test series, however, star bowling pair that terrorized the Australian’s over the two Tests in Yasir Shah and Mohammad Abbas will both be out for the T20 series.
Pakistan start as slight favourites for the series and rightly so given they are currently the No.1 ranked T20 team in the world. The tandem of Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam at the top of the batting order give the home side two dynamic T20 batsman while leg spinner Shadab Khan is currently the second ranked T20 bowler in the world behind only Afghani Rashid Khan.
The shorter format represents a better chance for the Australians, batting over multiple days on a deteriorating sub-continent wicket was never going to be strength of the travelling side, however, with the power and genuine match winning potential they boast in the T20 squad, the chances of success are much higher.
Aaron Finch is currently the No.1 ranked T20 batsman in the world while D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and Ben McDermott, who will all join him at the top of the order are all capable of winning a T20 off their own bat. Over three games, Finch will get plenty of opportunity at the top of the order and is a great bet to lead the Australian’s in runs in the series.
While the quicks in the Test series struggled to hit areas required to take wickets, it’ll be a different game plan for the T20 bowlers. The likes of Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye and Nathan Coulter-Nile have all shown their ability to perform in T20 matches throughout the Big Bask League over the past few seasons.
We think the series is a bit of a toss-up. All it takes is a few decent performances by one of the top six batsmen on either side and you have a recipe for success in the T20 format. Australia probably bat a bit deeper with the inclusions of the Big Bash stars but Pakistan’s bowling line-up has been dominant in T20’s over the past few seasons, particularly when playing in the UAE.
We think the Aussies have what it takes here, however. Most of the squad are coming off great JLT One Day Cup seasons, especially the likes of McDermott, Short, Lynn and Maxwell, so should be in great limited overs form. Back the value.
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