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Not long ago, no one would have picked Australia to be favorites in a bilateral series. However, given the way they've performed in their last few matches, they have regained the favorites tag not only for the series but have also announced their contention for the coveted World Cup trophy. The Australians raced to a comfortable win in the first match of the series against Pakistan and will be looking to get 2-0 up in the series when the two teams meet at the same venue on 24th March. Pakistan will be looking to make a quick comeback in the series and we expect yet another terrific battle of cricket.
After scoring a decent total of 280 in a sluggish sort of surface, Pakistan would have been the happier of the two sides going into the half-time break. However, little did they know that the pitch will not only get easier to bat on but also that their bowlers will find it difficult to penetrate the powerful Australian batting lineup.
Clearly, Haris Sohail's swashbuckling knock was the silver spot for the hosts, but other than that, it was all dark. Imad Wasim did manage to hit a couple of lusty blows towards the end, but the total proved to be too little to defend for the visitors. Umar Akmal once again struggled to hit a big knock and perished after playing a well-controlled knock.
The Pakistani management decided to drop Usman Khan Shenwari, who had a brilliant PSL and decided to test red-ball sensation - Mohammad Abbas. The move, however, was rendered fruitless by the terrific counterpunch from the Aussies who never allowed Pakistani bowlers to settle down. Therefore, Pakistan can choose to pick Junaid Khan over him or Mohammad Amir for the upcoming encounter.
Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, SI Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain.
There could be a team happier than this Australian lineup as far as recent results are concerned. The players who were candidates of being dropped from the side have put their hand up and scored massively in the last few games. Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh being a couple of notable ones.
With a 3-2 win over India and then topping it with a stupendous win over Pakistan, this Aussie side will be oozing with confidence. Peter Handscomb and Usman Khawaja have bee mighty consistent with the bat and will be key players for the Kangaroos yet again.
The men in yellow benched Patrick Cummins and Ashton Turner to accommodate Marcus Stoinins and Nathan Coulter-Nile and it was surprising considering the way Turner and Cummins did in India. It could be very well due to the fact that Cummins and Turner have both reserved a seat in the flight to England already. Having said that, Australia would not want to keep their key players away from the action and it will be interesting to see the combination they are going to take into the second match of the series.
Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Michael Lyon, Adam Zampa.
Batting got easier as the match progressed in the last match and we expect the same to happen in the second match as well. The captain winning the toss would like to bowl first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Hardly have we ever seen it rain at Sharjah and despite it forecasted to be cloudy on the match day, the chances of rain are negligible. The surface used in the first match was a bid on a slower side but still had nothing for the bowlers. We expect to be a flat deck yet again where it will get easier to bat on under lights. The team batting first will be looking to score at least 300 runs on the board.
With surface likely to have no assistance whatsoever for the bowlers, it would only be wise to include only three bowlers in the Dream11 formation. Usman Khawaja looked good until he was dismissed and so did all other Australian batsmen. For Pakistan, Haris Sohail is a certain pick considering the way he batted.
Pakistan are without five players who were part of the team that toured South Africa and did well there which suggests that they have not fielded their full-strength team yet. Although no one did poorly in the first ODI, they always looked a step behind the Aussies except in the last few overs when Aussie bowlers looked clueless against the pair of Imad Wasim and Haris Sohail. Australia, on the other hand, were clinical and appear to be peaking just at the right moment. With a better-balanced side and the momentum gained from the last win, the Aussies are firm favorites to win the upcoming match as well.
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