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Australia have won more ODIs in the last three weeks than they did in the preceding 25 months. The statement which appears to be too good to be true, but is, speaks volumes about the kind of turnaround the men in yellow have seen. To add to their three-match win streak over India, they've started off their campaign against Pakistan with two wins in the first two matches. The two teams will now move to Abu Dhabi to play the third ODI of the series on 27th March. Both the teams have something to play for in the upcoming fixture. While the hosts will strive hard to keep hanging in the series, Australians will be looking to extend their winning streak to six.
Although Pakistan are trying out their bench strength in this ongoing series, the loss of momentum might come back to haunt them in a critical encounter in the marquee event. Despite a couple of individual flashes of brilliance in the first two matches, Pakistan, on the whole, have looked completely listless.
In the two matches concluded, Pakistan have been found around 20 runs short on each occasion. The inexperience has oozed out of them which might haven't made a difference to the result, but it would have provided their bowlers with a chance, at least.
There was a striking similarity between the way both the games panned out for Pakistan. Just as the case was in the opening match, Pakistan lost early wickets and were staring at a below-par score before being bailed out by their middle order batsmen - Haris Sohail in the first match and Mohammad Rizwan in the second. Shoaib Malik contributed with a well-made half-century as Pakistan set a formidable total batting first.
While Pakistan will be reasonably happy with the kind of performances they've portrayed with the bat, they've been listless with the ball. In the two ODIs combined, Pakistan have managed to inflict just a couple of dismissals which speaks volumes about their bowling. While the change in venue could be helpful to their plans, it is highly unlikely that their bowlers will all of a sudden find rhythm.
Shan Masood, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, SI Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Usman Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain.
As we are moving towards ICC Cricket World Cup, Australia are steadily building momentum. Starting with their win over India a few weeks ago, the Aussies are now on a five-match winning streak and look good to extend it.
The primary reason for Australian resurgence has been the way they've batted, especially against the spinners. Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb have been brilliant in the middle overs and even when they haven't been able to get Australia across the line, the batsmen to follow have.
In both the matches, Australia have chased down the total of 280 quite comfortably with Finch, Khawaja, and Marsh contributing brilliantly. Furthermore, on the surfaces that haven't really been conducive to bowling, the likes of Nathan Coulter Nile, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, and Adam Zampa have done exceptionally in keeping Pakistan to a sub-par score.
All in all, the Australians have apparently managed to click just at the right time, or is it a little too early? Well! Only time will tell. Their captain is back in form and scoring heavily, albeit not against the best of bowling lineups and Khawaja is scoring runs for fun. Considering the way Australia have played in their last five matches, beating them is not going to be easy - for any team on any surface.
Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Michael Lyon, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff.
Considering the form Aussie top-four batsmen have been in, dropping any of them will not make any sense. Also, Pakistan bowlers have been ineffective in keeping Australians quiet, let alone picking wickets. Mohammad Rizwan slammed a brilliant century in the last match and continues to be our pick for the wicket-keeper lot. Also, with Aussie top-order in terrific form and Pakistani bowling not doing well, Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf are better choices for All-rounders' slot. Check out our complete Dream11 lineup below:
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The series which was expected to be closely fought has actually turned out to be a rather one-sided affair up until now. Pakistan are not playing with their full-strength squad which is highly visible in their performance with the ball. Pakistan have done reasonably well as far as their batting is concerned, but that too hasn't proved to be enough. With the men in yellow having the momentum and appearing to be better than this second-string Pakistan side on all accounts, Pakistan are firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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