T20 World Cup 2021: Can Pakistan continue its unbeaten streak against a formidable Australia?
Pakistan and Australia clash in the semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Thursday. While Pakistan is unbeaten, Australia would look to knock it out, as here is the match preview.
In a nail-biting clash, former champion Pakistan takes on Australia in the semi-final of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium. While Pakistan has been in a splendid form of late, Australia, too, has been impressive so far. As the tie is expected to be heavily engaging, we present the match preview.
Pakistan has played five games in the Super 12, winning all of them and being the only side to stay unbeaten. On the other hand, Australia has won four and lost one in the five Super 12 ties. As for the warm-ups, both sides won and lost a game each. Therefore, going by the current form, Pakistan unquestionably has the upper hand.
Team strength & weaknesses, and players to watch out
As far as the teams are concerned, Pakistan's has a solid batting order. While it has just three specialist bowlers, its impact has been heavily impressive. The likes of skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shaheen Afridi are sure to draw some attention.
In the meantime, Australia's bowling attack bolsters excellent talent, making it one of the most formidable attacks in the competition. However, its batting too can be counted on, especially with opener David Warner's return to form. Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are some players to watch out for who can take Australia to the final.
Injury concerns and head-to-head
None of the sides has any injury concerns. The two have met on 23 instances in the format, with Pakistan leading 12-9, while in the tournament, it's 3-3. The two have had eight meetings in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as Pakistan leads 5-3.
Weather and pitch report
The Dubai weather would be warm, with 31 degrees of an expected temperature and 42% humidity. As for the pitch, it would stay even, while it might get slow later. Meanwhile, keeping the dew factor in mind, chasing would be the ideal choice by the skipper here.
PAK: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi.
AUS: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood.
Batters: Warner, Finch, Azam (c)- Warner and Azam would give the perfect start, while Finch would fire at number thee. Azam's effectiveness makes him the skipper.
Wicketkeeper: Rizwan- While he is ideally an opener, he can also make an impact at number four.
All-rounder: Shadab- He has been fairly decent with the bat and the ball, making him a must-have.
Bowlers: Hazlewood, Starc, Zampa (vc), Hasan, Afridi, Rauf- Zampa is the only one who has been impacting with his spins heavily, making him the deputy captain while the remaining five have been deadly with their unprecedented pace.
Date and day: November 11, 2021 (Thursday)
Venue: Dubai International Stadium
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar