Cricket Tips & Preview – Pakistan V Australia (One-off T20I)

WILL EVANS charges down the wicket with cricket tips for the one-off T20I clash between highly-rated Pakistan and world champs Australia.

01:30 (AEDT), Wed 6th Apr @ Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

History: Played 24: Pakistan 13 V Australia 10 (1 No Result)

Last meeting: November 11, 2021: Australia d Pakistan by 5 wickets (6 balls remaining) at Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Final Thoughts: Pakistan are aiming to double down on their home ODI series triumph over Australia with a victory against the world champions in a one-off T20I in Lahore.

Australia won the ODI opener by 88 runs on the back of a Travis Head century. But Pakistan chased down 349 to win game two and powered to a nine-wicket victory in the decider after bowling the tourists out for just 210.

Can Aussies stop Azam and co?

Imam-ul-Haq (298 runs at 149) and Babar Azam (276 runs at 138) dominated the ODI series, both smashing two centuries and a fifty each. Imam-ul-Haq is not in the T20I side, but Azam and Mohammad Rizwan – the top two ranked T20I batters on the planet – are an explosive opening pair with Fakhar Zaman and Asif Ali bolstering an impressive top order.

Haris Rauf is an outstanding T20 bowler and Shaheen Shah Afridi caused Australia plenty of problems after making a late entry into the ODI rubber.

Josh Inglis and Ashton Agar have returned negative COVID tests after being ruled out of the ODI series. They will put pressure on Alex Carey and Mitchell Swepson, respectively, for a spot.

But the bulk of the attention is focused on skipper Aaron Finch, who is in a major form trough. Head and Ben McDermott were superb in the 50-over rubber, however, while Marcus Stoinis is a potential match-winner, Sean Abbott has emerged as a genuine all-rounder in limited-overs cricket and Adam Zampa is one of the best spinners in T20 cricket.

Australia to draw on World Cup experience

Pakistan is 13-10 all time against Australia in T20Is. But Australia have won the teams’ last three matches in the format – including an epic semi-final on their way to the T20 World Cup crown in November.

Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52), Babar Azam (39 off 34) and Fakhar Zamam (55* off 32) steered Pakistan to 4/176. After a bright start from David Warner (49 off 30), Australia were on the ropes until Marcus Stoinis (40* off 31) and Matthew Wade (41* off 17) put on an unbeaten 81-run stand off 40 balls to get their side home with an over to spare.

Pakistan are $1.74 favourites – and it’s hard to argue given their form at home in the ODIs. They are also ranked third in the ICC’s T20I rankings; Australia are sixth. Azam is on fire and should lead his country to another victory…unless Finch has a form reversal up his sleeve.

Tip: Top Pakistan Batsman – Babar Azam @ $3.00