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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 17, Australia vs Pakistan, Preview – Unpredictable men in green lock horns with the wounded Aussies

Both sides played so many classics in this tournament previously and the fans would be hoping for another chapter of nerve-wracking excitement.

Australian team
Australian team. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Pakistan has been trying to replicate their heroics from 1992 for many editions now and they haven’t come close to doing so yet. This tournament’s format mirroring with the one which they ended triumphant makes them dream hard and incidentally, both the 1992 and 2019 Pakistani teams started their campaign on a similar note in their first three games – A loss, a win and a washed out fixture.

Wahab Riaz bowled one of the finest spells in cricket history against Australia when they previously met in this tournament, but the Aussies would want to remember what happened when these sides met a couple of months ago in UAE. Their juggernaut was too hot to handle for the Men in green, even without the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith.

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A fixture that triggers all emotions, exceeds expectations and elates millions, Pakistan and Australia once again prepare to go hell for leather at each other. Both sides played so many classics in this tournament previously and the fans would be hoping for another chapter of nerve-wracking excitement.

Australia

Marcus Stoinis is ruled for this fixture and considering a fact that his bowling is a bigger void to fill, Kane Richardson could come into the XI. Nathan Coulter-Nile could bat at number 7 with Alex Carey batting at number 6 with this change. Usman Khawaja could also make way for Shaun Marsh having not performed in the first three games.

David Warner and Steve Smith are getting the important runs for the side whilst Pat Cummins and Starc are being consistent with the ball, but they need some more resilience from the rest to earn more wins. Finch scored a lot of runs against Pakistan the last time they met and will be keen to replicate something like that.

Predicted XI

Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja/Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (WK), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa.

Pakistan

There are so many capable batsmen in this lineup, who promise so much on paper but apart from Babar Azam, there is no consistency. Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman have been a very untrustworthy source of runs, but when they get going they really make this side look a force to reckon with. They need a better effort from the experienced duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.

It won’t hurt Wahab Riaz to watch highlights of his stupendous bowling against Australia last time before getting into the game. Mohammad Amir is upping the ante but Hasan Ali seems lost on ideas. Sarfaraz needs to use his spinners wisely against the Aussies, especially having seen the Indian spinners boss them in the previous game.

Predicted XI

Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali.

Focus will be on

Aaron Finch (Australia)

Aaron Finch registered 451 runs in five knocks when these two sides met in UAE. These are completely different conditions, but Finch started the tournament on a positive note. He definitely looks well set for a huge tournament and but he hasn’t had a big knock yet in the three innings. If he can get going from this game, Australia will definitely fancy winning all the remaining games.

Shadab Khan (Pakistan)

Leg-spinners often enjoy bowling to Australia and Yuzvendra Chahal just a few days ago had a fantastic outing against them. The highly-rated Shadab Khan has enough trickery in him to trouble the best in the business, but he remained ineffective the last time these two teams met. He would be desperate for some vengeance and Pakistan need him to be on top of his game to get an edge.

Head to Head

Matches Played – 103 | Australia won – 67 | Pakistan won – 32 | Tied – 1 | No Result – 3

Stat Attack

71.84 – Quite peculiarly and uncharacteristically, David Warner’s strike-rate has been 71.84 thus far in the tournament.

Broadcast details

TV – Star Sports

Live Streaming – Hotstar

Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local.

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