Pakistan vs Australia: Glenn Maxwell doubtful for first ODI
The big-hitting all-rounder missed the training for two days at a stretch.
Updated - Mar 20, 2019 5:39 pm
The first encounter of the five-match One-Day International series between Pakistan and Australia will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. The first two matches of the series will be played in Sharjah and the Australian team is fancying themselves to do well against hosts Pakistan, captained by the experienced Shoaib Malik.
Sharjah Cricket Ground holds the Guinness World Record for hosting most one-day international matches and Australia are coming off a spirit-raising 3-2 ODI series win over India. However, their enthusiasm could suffer a blow as all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is in doubt for the first match. This could hurt Australia, as the Sharjah wicket is supposed to aid spin thanks to the dry surface greeting the visitors.
Glenn Maxwell down with an illness
The big-hitting all-rounder missed the training for two days at a stretch after being struck with illness. He was accompanied by Nathan Lyon, who also sat out of training on Tuesday thanks to a stomach bug. In case, Maxwell doesn’t get fit in time, Lyon is the best bet to partner Adam Zampa in the series opener on Friday. Lyon had returned to practice on Wednesday and given his performance against India, might get some game time.
“Spin will be important for both sides. We’ve got two spinners, I’d be surprised if they don’t both play out here. They’ve got quality spinners as well. It will be a good battle,” paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile was quoted saying by cricket.com.au.
Spin going to play a big part feels Aaron Finch
Australia stepped up preparations for the five-game series against Pakistan, which also features matches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Captain Aaron Finch opined that the team management will decide on the inclusion of two spinners after seeing the playing surface before the start of the game on Friday.
“The stats from here all suggest that spin takes a bigger impact. I’ll expect them to spin. We even saw yesterday the training wickets looked at how we expect the middle to play. You’re never quite sure though, once there’s a bit of traffic on it they start to slow up pretty quick and spin a bit. I think that will be a feature, especially the two games in Sharjah,” Finch was quoted as saying.