Time: March 31, 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
12 of 17 wickets that fell on Tuesday belonged to the spinners. The fast bowlers, though, were dominated from the very first ball.
Shaheen Afridi was rested for the opening ODI due to a knee injury he suffered while batting the nets. If he is back to full fitness for the second game, one of the three pacers will have to warm the bench.
Probable XI for Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr/Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zahid Mahmood
Australia are unlikely to tinker with their winning combination.
Probable XI for Australia: Travis Head, Aaron Finch (c), Ben McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Swepson
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Travis Head looked like a set batter before he took the crease. He scythed, pulled, drove, hoicked, and whatnot in the first six overs. He took a mere 32 balls to complete his fifty and then brought up his hundred in 70 balls. That was not all, though. He provided additional fantasy points with two wickets.
Imam-ul-Haq continued his dream run against Australia, fetching his fourth hundred across formats. In ODIs, he has three fifties and a hundred in the last seven innings.
Adam Zampa registered his second four-wicket haul against Pakistan. He scaled up his wickets tally to 15 in 8 games.
Although his fifty went in vain for Pakistan, Babar Azam did not disappoint the fantasy players. He now has four fifties and two hundreds in his last 10 ODIs.
Ben McDermott’s consistency this season has been superior. The highest run-scorer of the Australian T20 League scored 55 off 70, building on the foundation that Head had laid.
Shaheen Shah Afridi has been in incredible form in 2021-22. He had a memorable time in the 2021 World T20 and then ended up as the highest wicket-taker in the Pakistan T20 League. His inclusion should strengthen their pace attack.
It was Cameron Green’s 40* off 30 that helped Australia go past 300 runs. The attacking all-rounder smashed three fours and a six. In addition, his bowling skills are an added advantage in fantasy cricket.
Mitchell Swepson trapped Babar Azam in front with his leg-spin and then had Haris Rauf caught to wrap up the hosts’ innings. For Pakistan, it was the wrist-spin of Zahid Mahmood that contained Australia’s counterattack in the middle overs: he dismissed Aaron Finch and Alex Carey.
Before the first ODI, Aaron Finch’s scores against Pakistan read 116, 153*, 90, 39, 53, and 82. However, on a track that saw Head score runs effortlessly, Finch looked out of touch.
From 132 for 2, Pakistan skittled out for 245. What seemed like an easy chase on an easy wicket went astray. All in all, it was the spin duo of Australia that made the difference. Pakistan bowled flat and without much guile, gradually letting Australia dictate terms. They will have to pan out their strategies anew.