World Cup 2015 QF 3 Pakistan vs Australia Preview; Resurgent Pak meets in-form Australia

World Cup 2015 QF 3 Pakistan vs Australia Preview; Resurgent Pak meets in-form Australia

World Cup 2015 QF 3 Pakistan vs Australia Preview; Resurgent Pak meets in-form Australia:

Date: 20 March 2015       Time: 0900 IST
Venue: Adelaide

Australia

Australia are a far superior team, on form and familiar conditions. They have match winners from no.1 to no.11 in their team and they just lost one match out of the six played, a hard-fought one-wicket loss against New Zealand.

Australia will be a tough side to overcome for Pakistan. Australian batting is in best of the forms possible with Glen Maxwell and David Warner scoring centuries and Steven Smith, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin have played the supporting roles to the hilt. On paper, Australia look favourites to qualify through to the semi-finals.

Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have bowled with speed, swing and intensity that is hard to match by any other teams and Pakistan will certainly find them hard to cope with. Australia won’t go with the option of 2 spinners and will attack the Pakistanis with pace bowling to the hilt.

Road to quarterfinals

Australia ( Won 4, Lost 1, Tie 1)

1. Beat England by 111 runs

2. Match Abandoned

3. Lost to New Zealand by 1 wicket

4. Beat Afghanistan by 275 runs

5. Beat Sri Lanka by 64 runs

6. Beat Scotland by 7 wickets

Pakistan

Cricket history has scripted numerous tales in the past of the unpredictable Pakistan side. Yet again, the Asian side could decide the fate of the match against Australia.

Pakistan have recovered well after two early defeats to India and West Indies in the group stage. The victory against South Africa has boosted their morale and has ensured a miraculous turnaround for them in the tournament. Bringing in Sarfraz Ahmed has solved 2 of their biggest problems in opening batting and faulty wicket keeping by Umar Akmal. Sarfraz has also bought a sense of confidence to accomplish anything in the team and Misbah has said that they have taken inspiration from the 1992 World Cup team led by Imran Khan, who similarly bounced back from the early losses to win the trophy. Pakistan’s 2015 World Cup journey has been the similar to that of 1992 and Misbah hopes that the end will also be similar.

Despite the absence of key players like Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Junaid Khan, they have shown that an on-song Pakistan side can prove tough challengers to the best of the sides in the world. Mohd. Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan have proved that they can trouble the Australian batting line up and keep them to minimum runs as possible. While not in great form, Pakistan’s batsmen do have to ability to negotiate the Australian bowling and also make runs against them, but this bowling line-up has been devastating to other teams as evidence by their results.

The match is going to be the one to watch out for as the winner of this match will face the winner of India-Bangladesh QFs.

Road to quarterfinals

Pakistan ( Won 4, Lost 2, Tie 0)

1. Lost to India by 76 runs

2. Lost to West Indies by 150 runs

3. Beat Zimbabwe by 20 runs

4. Beat United Arab Emirates by 129 runs

5. Beat South Africa by 29 runs (D/L method)

6. Beat Ireland by 7 wickets

Possible Playing XI:
Pakistan:
Sarfraz Ahmed (WK), Ahmed Shezad, Misbah-ul-Haq(C),Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali

Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke(C), Glen Maxwell, Brad Haddin (WK), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Faulkner.