About the Match
Just when Pakistan seemed to have everything going against it, they came back and managed to end a 12-year drought against the hosts in Australia and leveled the ODI series 1-1. Can they continue to punch above their weight and pull off another upset in Perth?
3rd ODI Preview
Australia’s long batting lineup counted for nothing as the Pakistani spinners managed to keep them on a tight leash on a surface that favored the slower bowlers. The shift to Perth would be welcome for the Aussies who prefer the fast, bouncy conditions that should be on offer.
What a difference the lack of form of one man makes. David Warner has scored 23 runs in the first two matches and Australia has struggled to put up decent totals on the board every time. In fact, a look at the Australian lineup for this match is even more troubling.
There is no Chris Lynn or Mitchell Marsh in the middle order taking away a lot of the power. Peter Handscomb will slot into number four and even though he has been in good form in the Test Matches, his first class record in the 50 over format of the game is decidedly average.
Travis Head is still struggling to find his place in this side and the constant shuffling in the batting order will not do him any favors either. There is no doubt that a batting lineup that has James Faulkner at 8 is a very dangerous one but the lower order is always going to be under pressure if the top-order does not really stand up and deliver.
The bowling for Australia is also undergoing some changes and Mitchell Starc will be rested for this match while Mitchell Marsh will be missing because of injury. This puts the focus on Billy Stanlake, who had a very difficult time in the first match, and will now be under pressure to justify his selection.
The bounce on offer should help him out, though.
Australia knows that it has a very difficult summer ahead in India and is being careful about saving its best players from any injury concerns but they may be compromising this series in the meanwhile.
Pakistan has performed beyond the expectations that most people had for it ahead of the ODI series. The injection of players like Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, and Shoaib Malik have given it some much-needed flexibility and the ability to fight back from difficult positions.
Even though its batting riches are decidedly modest, Pakistan’s bowling has been very good in keeping a check on the Aussies this series. Mohammad Amir has taken 5 wickets in two matches so far at an economy rate of 5.22 but the real star of this bowling lineup has been Imad Wasim. His 4 wickets at an economy rate of 3.60 have been the reason that Australia has found it so difficult to score freely in the middle overs.
He would again be our pick as the bowler to back for the most economical bowling figures possibly given less than 50 runs in the match.
Pakistan went without Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz in the second match but one of them could be back to take full advantage of a surface that favors outright pace.
This match could be one however where the batsmen hold sway and Pakistan will need its big players to step up. Sharjeel Khan has been getting starts before throwing it away and even though he might garner some runs getting under the bounce in this match, any runs from him have to be counted as a bonus for Pakistan.
Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, and Shoaib Malik will be the players to watch out for while Umar Akmal might also enjoy the bounce batting down the order.
The last One Day International match that was played at the WACA featured Australia and India where Rohit Sharma scored 171 not out, Virat Kohli 91, George Bailey 112 and Steve Smith 149. It was an absolute run feast where 309 was chased down with easy by the Aussies.
A similar kind of match could be on our hands once again.
Pakistan would also be hoping that they can win the toss and bat first without any scoreboard pressure because the only way they can win matches in Australia is by out-bowling them. Out-batting them seems beyond this Pakistani lineup.
This is a ground that David Warner and Steve Smith love and might just roar back to form in. Back Australia To Win.
Winner: Australia, 1.25 @ Bet on Australia now