Pakistan vs Australia: Shoaib Malik unlikely to play the fifth ODI in Dubai
He is yet to fully recover from a rib injury.
Updated - Mar 31, 2019 1:00 pm
All the Pakistan team, hosting the Aaron Finch-led Australia side, can now do is hope to avoid a whitewash in this ongoing five-match Test series in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After a series loss of 3-0 post the third ODI, Pakistan faced another huge blow as their acting captain veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik was ruled out of the fourth ODI due to an injury.
Following that the experienced Malik is still most certainly going to miss fifth and final one-day international match of the current series against Australia in Dubai. When Pakistan’s cricketers walk out to the middle at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday to play the final ODI against Australia, their one remaining intention would be to salvage pride.
Pakistan had a chance to pull one back in the fourth ODI, but they suffered a collapse as Finch’s Aussie side emerged to be the better team once again. The hosts wanted to use this series to settle the last four spots of the 15-member squad to be selected for the World Cup. However, the poor performances of the pillars, alongside Rizwan’s productive run and Abid’s remarkable inception to his career, have added to selectors’ enigmas.
Malik will have to pass a fitness test ahead of final ODI
The left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq, who had a high fever and was replaced by Abid Ali in the fourth ODI, is feeling much better. The final call on Shoaib Malik’s availability will, however, be taken on the day of the match. The all-rounder, who was named as Pakistan’s captain in absence of regular captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for the ODI series against Australia, also missed the fourth match of the series.
According to reports in The Express Tribune, Malik is yet to fully recover from a rib injury and the team management is not keen on risking him for the dead rubber against Australia, in Dubai on Sunday, March 31. Pakistan has already lost the series, after losing all four ODIs, and team officials feel that there is little point in playing Malik, especially having in mind the forthcoming 2019 World Cup in England, that starts on May 30.
A fitness test will be taken before the match to estimate Malik’s chances of playing in the final ODI.