Daijiworld Media Network
Dubai, Sep 10 : Hello and welcome to the 3rd T20 between Pakistan and Australia. The last match went right down to the wire and saw the result being determined by way of a super over. So far Pakistan lead the series 2-0 and Australia will be eager to get a win in this game just to salvage some pride.
Pakistan have won the toss and elected to field
M Hafeez : We will bowl. It's a different pitch. We wanted to chase tonight as Aus have a good batting side and we also have a good batting side. Yasir Arafat comes in place of Sohail Tanvir. We wanted to get the right momentum before the world cup. The boys have done well in this tournament. The way both teams have played is good for cricket.
Bailey: We were looking to bat first. Maxwell comes in for David Hussey. He is a great fielder, can bowl well and is a destructive batsman. I have watched a couple of Super overs, but it was the first time I was involved in one as a player.
Pakistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Hafeez(c), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal(w), Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Raza Hasan, Saeed Ajmal
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, George Bailey(c), Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade(w), Daniel Christian, Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc
Australia have hit rock bottom in the ICC rankings for T20. A nation that prides itself in its past glory as well as its outlook in the future is placed below the likes of Bangladesh and Ireland. T20 rankings can be fluctuating, one win will gain a team a few places up the ladder while even a single loss can see it lose its slot in the merit list. Unfortunately for the Aussies, they are in the middle of a tough series, against an opponent who have developed extreme self confidence and are playing as an united force. The 3rd and final T20I between Australia and Pakistan promises to be another test of not just the skills of either teams but also the ability to survive the oppressive Dubai conditions.
With two wins and the series in their bag, Pakistan have gained a lot ahead of the upcoming T20 cup in Sri Lanka. Nasir Jamshed has returned well from his injury and looks like a future star in the making. The batting unit has held its own against the pace oriented attack of the Australians. Friday's win through the Super Over has shown that this team will not crack under pressure. Skipper Hafeez has expressed happiness over the way the squad has played over the past two matches but has also warned against any sort of complacency creeping in. In the absence of Afridi, the bowling workload has been shared with Saeed Ajmal turning out to be the leader of the pack. The wily magician has been literally unplayable in the sandy deserts of UAE and will look to finish the series on a high.
On the other hand, Australia are in a quagmire of their own. The finalists of the 2010 cup have found the going difficult in conditions that are very much similar to those at Sri Lanka. The batting unit struggled in the first match but did show vast improvements in the second match. Warner has shown signs of coming out of his shell against the spinners while Watson looks rusty following a long lay-off. The middle order looks dangerous on paper but barring Michael Hussey has done little of note in the middle. Australia's inability to produce world class spinners is beginning to play against them. Brad Hogg has all the tricks but is up against a team who are reputed to play spin well. Despite this being a dead rubber, Australia have a lot to play for. They would not like to go to Sri Lanka with a whitewash against their name.
Afridi has not yet recovered from the injury which saw him miss the first two matches. With the series won, Pakistan might not risk him in the dead rubber.
Glenn Maxwell, the hard hitting all-rounder was inexplicably left out from the second rubber. He should be back in place of either White or David Hussey.
Stats and trivia:
David Warner needs another 81 runs to become the first Australian to score 1000 T20I career runs.
Ajmal and Afridi are locked at the joint top of the wicket taker list with 58 victims. In Afridi's absence, Ajmal looks set to climb the ladder.
As captain I feel very proud of my team and I hope from here on they will continue also in the mega event - Hafeez is happy with the way his team is shaping up ahead of the mega event.
If we start winning in that (World T20) tournament we can easily shoot back up and if we win it, there's no arguments to say that we're not No.1 in the world - Cameron White is confident that Australia can do well in the upcoming T20 cup.