Australia will face Pakistan at Taunton on Wednesday, as both teams look to secure points on their way to the semis.
England, Australia vs Pakistan. They match that pops up in every Cricket fans head is the final of the 1999 Cricket World Cup. In a match where both teams were looking for their second World Cup trophy, Australia brushed aside Pakistan to win it. Well, these two teams meet again in England, this time in a group stage match in Taunton.
Australia crushed Pakistan in a 5-0 series win in UAE earlier this year, but the team looked unconvincing in their matches instead of dominating them. They beat Afghanistan and Windies to secure maximum points from the first two matches, but their defeat to India put a stop to their winning streak. While Steve Smith looks in fine touch, Australia’s concern is David Warner, who hasn’t looked anything near his best. Marcus Stoinis has been ruled out of this match due to injury, which puts a question mark on the Aussies batting lineup and team balance.
On the other hand, Pakistan looked far from favorites at the start of the World Cup, but they managed to cause a major upset by beating hot favorites England in their second match, after being bundled over by Windies in their first. Their third match against Sri Lanka was washed out, which means they have three points in their pocket. Pakistan’s victory over England was their sole victory in 13 matches, which creates a doubt about Pakistan’s capability, also arousing the question if their win against England was an upset. Wahab Riaz was a fierce force in the last encounter between these two teams in the previous World Cup, Pakistan will hoping a performance similar to that one to overthrow Australia.
Marcus Stoinis is ruled out of the match with a side injury, he is likely to be replaced by Shaun Marsh or a frontline bowler. While adding Marsh would weaken their bowling, getting in a bowler would shorten the batting lineup. Nathan Coulter-Nile is set to make way for Jason Behrendorff, as Australia look to trouble Pakistan with pace and bounce.
Probable lineup - 1. David Warner, 2. Aaron Finch ©, 3. Usman Khawaja, 4. Steve Smith, 5. Shaun Marsh, 6. Glenn Maxwell, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Pat Cummins, 9. Mitchell Starc, 10. Nathan Lyon, 11. Jason Behrendorff
Attacking Australia with spin is a good option, so Imad Wasim comes into discussion. Though Pakistan is willing to field the same lineup, conditions might force them to bring in Shaheen Shah Afridi to utilize his swing.
Probable lineup - 1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Imam-ul-Haq, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), 7. Asif Ali, 8. Shadab Khan, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Wahab Riaz, 11. Mohammad Amir
Pitch and Conditions
Taunton is known for helping the spinners a tad more than other English grounds, but the overcast conditions might just help the seamers more. The weather forecast predicts the conditions to be overcast, with light drizzles now and then.
Taunton is known for helping the spinners a tad more than other English grounds, but the overcast conditions might just help the seamers more. The weather forecast predicts