AUS vs PAK
Key features –
1. David Warner once again showing what a class batsman is he with a well deserved 107(111).
2. Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali showing what they can do with the bat when their team needs them the most in the lower order.
3. Aaron Finch playing a Captain’s knock by scoring 82(84).
4. A perfect opening partnership between Finch and Warner of 146 in 22 overs.
5. The first Five-wicket for Mohammad Amir in ODIs who ended up with a spell of 10-2-30-5.
6. Imam Ul-Haq with a good half century as an opener scoring a 53(75) and was supported by Hafeez, Sarfaraz and Riaz who scored in the 40s.
7. Mitchell Starc ended the match beautifully with two important wickets of Wahab and Amir. And the perfect finish to the battle was provided by Maxwell with his runout.
Post-match Analysis –
1. Pakistan dropped several catches of Finch and Warner which allowed them to take their team to a huge total of 307. And hence, they need to work on their fielding.
2. Pakistan defeated England and gave a tough fight to Australia towards the end with Wahab and Hasan getting into the show and hence would pose a threat to the teams they play against later on.
3. Australia also has 3 wins in 4 matches now and would be one of the favourites to qualify for the playoffs.
4. The batting order of Australia is showing a LHB-RHB combination. When Warner gets out, it’s Khawaja who comes in. Whereas, if Finch gets out, it’s Smith who comes in. And that’s what they do for the first 3-4 wickets since now they have Shaun Marsh in the middle as well. Hence, the other teams should plan their bowling strategies accordingly.
5. Australia and Pakistan both went with 4 specialist bowlers and having part-time bowlers bowling the full quota of 10 overs which was always a threat to both teams since they would leak runs. And that’s what happened, Maxwell as well as Hafeez bowled majority of the 5th bowler’s spell and went for plenty. Hence, both teams need to work on their team balance.
6. Australia is now positioned 2nd on the points table with 3 wins out of 4 and play their next against Sri Lanka. On the other hand, Pakistan is positioned 8th on the points table with 1 win and 1 N/R in their 4, and play their next match against India.
Up Next –
New Zealand vs India
Shikhar Dhawan is not available and so is Pant since he would join the team before the match against Pakistan. And hence, one slot in the Playing XI is open for both Karthik and Vijay Shankar and that depends on the Indian team management as to whom to select into the XI.
Both teams have been undefeated in this tournament and it might even remain so since there’s a high chance of the match being Abandoned due to rain. But, this match would be a key battle and India would ought to seek revenge against them to what happened in the Warm-Up match before the World Cup.
New Zealand has defeated Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to have their winning streak and finally take on a much stronger team. Whereas India is coming off victorious against tough teams like South Africa and Australia. Hence, India are the favourites and should have the upper hand today, even though one of the main openers would be missing for India.
Probable XIs –
India – Rohit, Rahul, Virat, Pandya, Dhoni, Karthik, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shami, Bumrah, Chahal.
New Zealand – Guptill, Munro, Williamson, Latham, Ross, Neesham, Santher, Southee, Boult, Henry, Ferguson.
Possible Replacements which I feel should happen even though both teams are on a winning streak and wouldn’t want to tweak their teams –
1. A forced change with Karthik coming into the side in place of Shikhar and Rahul gets to open, with either of Karthik and Pandya to come at No.4 depending on the situation. Other than that, Kuldeep and Jadhav should make way for Shami and Jadeja respectively looking at the overcast conditions for the extra seamer and the fact that Jadeja was the lone fighter with both bat and ball in the warm-up fixture against them..
2. Southee is completely fit and is available for selection and Kane would be tempted to get him into the XI in place of Grandhomme and have the best seam attack with Boult, Southee, Henry, Neesham and Lockie.