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It's been around six years since the last time Australians clean-swept in a bilateral series. That time, in 2013, it were West Indies against them and now they have an opportunity to repeat the forte when they meet Pakistan in the fifth One Day International at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, 31st March. After failing to show any fight whatsoever in the first three ODIs, Pakistan looked like winning in the fourth match before failing to keep the nerve in the last match. Australia have chopped and changed their lineup on multiple occasions in a bid to find their perfect eleven for the World Cup. This will be their final appearance before the marquee event and we expect them to come out with their best eleven in this match. Considering the fact that the last match was the closest of all and Pakistan have improved with every passing match, This match, too, is expected to be a cracking contest.
Pakistan's main objective of this series was to test their bench strength and considering the way they have done in the first few matches, their fans as well as management won't be too impressed. As far as ICC rankings are concerned, Pakistan are two different sides. In the shortest version of the game, they are ranked numero uno, but in the ODIs, they've always blown hot and cold, struggled with the longevity of the modern day game.
Pakistan came into the series after a highly successful domestic T20 competition, Pakistan Super League, but the players have struggled to exhibit the same level of performance. Fatigue, perhaps, has been the major factor. In the last match, however, they came close to winning the match on the back of some exciting hitting by Abid Ali and Mohammad Rizwan. However, their late order batsmen struggled to play under pressure and Pakistan eventually succumbed to a six-run defeat.
With some important knocks in the series, including the centuries by Haris Sohail, Abid Ali, and Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistani bowling has done reasonably well in all matches except the third one. Their bowling as well has done pretty well. In fact, their bowling has increasingly improved with every passing match. However, they have lacked penetration and it remains to be seen how challenging they can be in the upcoming fixture.
Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Saad Ali, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, SI Wasim, Yasir Shah, Usman Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas.
One would have to roll back years to remember the kind of dominance they have shown in the recent past. Their batting has been formidable with almost everyone being amongst the runs. Their bowling too has picked up wickets at regular intervals with Zampa and Lyon not only being a miser in the middle overs but also picking up wickets.
The prime reason for Australia's resurgence has been the way they've batted, particularly against the spinners. Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja have handled the spinners extremely well and have scored heavily in the middle overs. The only apparent problem with their batting order has been that they haven't really been aggressive enough in the first ten overs. However with the batsmen like Glenn Maxwell available to come in the late overs, they can afford to do that perfectly.
All on all, this Australian side has ticked all boxes thus far. Their batting has looked prolific. Their bowling has been incisive and effective in all stages of the game. To add to that, they have an immaculate fielding side. Considering the form they've shown in recent times, they will not only be difficult to beat in the fifth ODI but also in the marquee ICC event.
Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, KW Richardson, Nathan Michael Lyon, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff.
Australian top-order barring Shaun Marsh has looked in superb form and it would not be right to drop any of their top scorers. Also, Glenn Maxwell with his consistent performance is a sure starter in any Dream11 lineup. Although Alex Carey scored a brilliant fifty in the last outing, Mohammed Rizwan is our choice as the wicket-keeper pick. Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon are certain picks due to their consistent performance in the middle overs. Check out our complete Dream11 lineup below.
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While Pakistan did exceedingly well in the last match as compared to the first three matches, they still failed to end up on the right side of the result. Australia, thanks to their experience, bowled brilliantly at the death and held their nerve to hand Pakistan their fourth consecutive defeat. Considering the way things have panned out in the series so far and the teams on paper, Australians are firm favorites to win the upcoming encounter and script a whitewash after six long years.
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