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When – 27 March, Wednesday, 15:00 Local Time (16:30 IST)
Where – Abu Dabhi, UAE
Australia were favourites to win this series even before it began. The first two games have only confirmed the expectations. Pakistan playing 90’s cricket with no urgency to score in the middle overs, but also without any firepower at the end like they used to have. Their bowlers have managed to take only four wickets across two games, so not much consolation there either.
Australia are dominating with strong performances from the top order, especially their captain Finch, who has scored consecutive hundreds. Pakistan have no answer for him. They are just unable to get him off the batting crease. Australia’s bowling is tidy, but one can say they are not attacked enough, even on a flat Sharjah pitch. If Pakistan attack them from the start, it will be an interesting contest.
The last time Pakistan beat Australia in a ODI series was way back in 2002. Pakistan seem destined to lose this series too. But can they delay it from happening today?
Conditions to expect – Overcast weather without any rain (hopefully) and a spinning pitch, again.
Team News –
Pakistan: Faheem Ashraf is rested for the next three matches, Junaid Khan or Usman Shinwari might come in. Either opener Abid Ali or middle order batsman Saad Ali could get a debut.
Expected XI: Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Rizwan, Umar Akmal, Malik ©, Imad Wasim, Amir, Junaid Khan, Yasir Shah, Hasnain
Australia: Jyhe Richardson is out of the series after dislocating his shoulder while fielding in the second ODI. Turner might also get some game time.
Expected XI: Finch ©, Khawaja, Stoinis, Shaun Marsh, Handscomb/Carey, Maxwell, Turner, Cummins, Coulter Nile, Zampa, Lyon
Fantasy pick of the day: Imad Wasim – He looked in fine hitting form on the first two games, but he had very few overs at the end. On a slow and spinning pitch, he can make a significant contribution with the ball too. Pakistan’s chances of winning depend a lot on his 10 overs and death hitting.