Pakistan vs Australia: Stomach bug disturbs the visitors preparations ahead of the ODI series
Glenn Maxwell is likely to miss the series opener.
Updated - Mar 21, 2019 11:50 am
After a historic ODI series win over India, Australia are all set to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This series will be the final international assignment for them before they kick off their World Cup campaign on June 1. However, the visitors have been struck with the stomach bug across their squad ahead of the five-match ODI series which is set to commence on March 22.
Glenn Maxwell is already doubtful for the series opener after missing the first two days of training due to illness. He has been accompanied by the off-spinner Nathan Lyon now who also missed the training on Tuesday. Though he joined the team on Wednesday and could feature in the playing XI on Friday along with wrist spinner Adam Zampa who did well in the recent ODI series in India.
Spin to play a big part in the series
This is Australia’s second tour of the UAE after October last year when they played Pakistan in a two-Test and three-T20I series. They lost the Test series 0-1 and T20Is 0-3. However, the Aussies are in a better frame of mind this time with the recent win over India under their belt.
Australia captain Aaron Finch expected the spin bowlers to play a bigger role in the upcoming series. “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 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,” he was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile rejoined the Australian squad for the series against Pakistan after missing the final three games against India as he flew back home for the birth of his second child. With some of Australia’s frontline pacers like Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc struggling with injuries, Coulter-Nile has a fair chance of making it to the World Cup squad.