What a fantastic win it was over the Indians in the ODI series earlier this month! The Australian international cricket team will now venture to the UAE to play a five match ODI series against Pakistan, which will serve as the final chance to tinker with the squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in June!
We take a look at the five game series against Pakistan and give our betting tips below!
After trailing the Indians 2-0, the Aussies fought back to win the next three matches in a row and claim their first ODI series win in India since over a decade. Opening batsmen Usman Khawaja was the catalyst of the series win as he compiled 383 runs including two hundreds and two fifties at a ridiculous average of 76.60.
Australia were dominant with the bat in the final three games, compiling 313 in game three, chasing down 358 in game four and setting 272 in game five on a tough Dehli pitch. The batting line-up for the upcoming series looked destined to get a shake-up due to the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, however, with the dominant form the team showed in India, the star duo have been left out of the squad and will instead head to India to play in the IPL.
This means that the team for the Pakistan series will likely remain exactly the same, and the job of forcing their way into the squad for the World Cup should get even harder for Smith and Warner. Aaron Finch will captain the side and open the batting alongside Usman Khawaja. The middle order looks set in stone as Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner and Marcus Stoinis all had a great series against India while Alex Carey will resume his role as wicketkeeper.
The bowling will be led by Pat Cummins, who recently ascended to the No.1 Test bowler in the world and is quickly climbing the ranks of the ODI bowling table as well. Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff still have plenty of work to do to keep Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood out of the ICC World Cup team, but should all get another crack across this five game series. Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa will both be on the plane to the UK but they'll still be competing for the starting position.
For the Pakistanis, the five match series will also be crucial to their World Cup campaign, although they do have another five game series against England in May to finalise preparations.
They were narrowly beaten by South Africa in a five game series in late January in the UAE, capturing two hard fought wins. Pakistan are currently ranked the No.6 ODI side in the world, the lowest of the current big six nations and will be looking to change that over their next 10 games and in the World Cup.
Shoaib Malik will captain the side as he prepares for what will be his last World Cup and he'll be joined in the top five by Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez. The batting has been Pakistans real weakness over the past few years, particularly in ODI's.
The bowling unit will be led by spinner Yasir Shah while Mohhamad Amir, Mohhamad Abbas and Usman Shinwari look likely to get first crack as a seam trio.
Australia should be fired up after a fantastic series win over India earlier in the month, and playing against an extremely talented Pakistani seam attack on UAE pitches is a similar challenge to the one they faced in India. Usman Khawaja, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell were the keys to Australia's success heading into the Indian series but the ODI line-up feels more hands on deck after the win.
Peter Handscomb, Aaron Finch, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa and Jhye Richardson all pulled their weight in India, and if the Aussies get another team effort like that in Pakistan, they should be tough to beat.
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