Australia vs Pakistan in cricket has been a memorable clash with insane twists, unforgettable moments and heroic performances. The two former world cup winning nations locked horns in a warm up match in Ahmedabad. The mighty Aussies bounced back from their abysmal performances against South Africa and India with a win against the Netherlands. After a frustrating Asia Cup campaign, Pakistani woes continued as they were beaten comprehensively by New Zealand. The last match before the world cup provided both camps with the opportunities to tweak with the squad and get some crucial game time.
The teams had the flexibility to play maximum number of players as this was not an official game recognised by the ICC. Pakistani Babar Azam was rested for the match and Travis Head from Australia is still recovering from a fractured arm.
- David Warner 2. Mitchell Marsh 3. Steve Smith 4. Marnus Labuschagne 5. Alex Carey (WK) 6. Glenn Maxwell 7. Cameron Green 8. Josh Inglis 9. Pat Cummins (Cap.) 10. Mitchell Starc 11. Sean Abbott 12. Marcus Stonis 13. Adam Zampa 14. Josh Hazlewood
- Imam-Ul-Haq 2. Fakhar Zaman 3. Abdullah Shafique 4. Iftikhar Ahmed 5. Shadab Khan 6. Mohammad Nawaz 7. Saud Shakeel 8. Mohammad Haris (WK) 9. Salman Ali Agha 10. Shaheen Afridi 11. Haris Rauf 12. Mohammad Wasim Jr. 13. Hasan Ali 14. Usama Mir
Australian skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and decided to bat first on a flat Ahmedabad wicket.
Captaincy & Tactics
Australia’s plan was to attack right from the first ball. It was a massive success and they cruised to a big total. Babar Azam could be criticized for his ultra defensive approach.
Australians were trying to bowl as many overs of spin as possible with Ashton Agger going out from the campaign because of an injury. Labuschagne repaid the trust of his captain with a three wicket haul. The Aussie think tank is considering the possibility of Glenn Maxwell being a front liner in the world cup.
Glenn Maxwell shone with the ball in hand last week, but this time it was the bat that talked. Dark clouds gathered around the explosive batter as he has been running a race against time in terms of returning to full fitness.
Maxwell was phenomenal in playing the spinner and hit six sixes to score a quickfire 77. Cameron Green was also brilliant with the bat after completing a fifty on the last ball of the innings. The prodigious talent has a healthy average of 37.90 with the bat and will be a key player in the world cup for the Aussies.
Babar Azam was in his usual groove showing the world his sublime touch and impeccable footwork. The star batter averages 66.12 while playing as a captain and will be the key factor of his side’s ability to dominate with the bat. Iftikhar Ahmed has been impressive with the bat throughout the last 12 months. He scored a brilliant 83 from 85 balls with smashing the ball all over the park.
Pakistan’s main concern has been their lackluster bowling performance once Naseem Shah got injured. Shaheen Afridi bowled well early on, so did Hasan Ali. They were putting the ball in the right places and getting a good carry to the wicketkeeper. But Haris Rauf’s confidence might take a heavy blow after a disastrous figure of 1 for 97 from 9 overs. Usama Mir also deserves a shutout for picking up two scalps.
Adam Zampa did not bowl in the game, so the duty fell on the shoulder of part-timers to feel the quota. Glenn Maxwell proved his worth once again after conceding just 34 runs from 8 overs. Labuschagne, Smith and even Warner participated in a spinning frenzy. Surprisingly Labuschagne was the best bowler of the night with three wickets to his name. Captain Cummins kept it tight and took two wickets.
Pakistan produced a comical moment with both Wasim Jr. and Nawaz went for and left the ball. The misunderstanding led to a boundary. Shadab Khan displayed great athleticism and presence of mind to run Alex Carey out. Rest of the Australian innings was rather uneventful with regulation catches being taken.
David Warner took a brilliant catch on the boundary to dismiss Usama Mir. Australians were hungry for the ball, quick in their strides and made justice to the tag of being an excellent fielding side.
Glenn Maxwell was back at his scintillating self with another spectacular display of power hitting. The Victorian all-rounder’s impressive comeback to the international fold after picking up four wickets in the last match of the series against India. Cameron Green and Josh Inglis also impressed with the ball.
Babar Azam mixed aggression with grace in his brilliant display. Iftikhar played a gem of an innings. Nawaz’s fifty will give him a lot of confidence before the world cup. Marnus Labuschagne was the unusual hero for the Australians with three wickets.
Pakistan was on course to clinch the match after 41 overs with Mohammad Nawaz and Usama Mir on the crease. Usama just hit a six off Marsh – a brilliant whack over extra over. The next ball was pitched short and Usama tried to hoick it over midwicket. The mistimed effort ballooned to David Warner. Pakistan needed another 51 runs from 50 balls at that stage and this wicket changed the whole complexion of the game.
Australia won the game by 14 runs
Player of the Match
No one was awarded the man of the match prize as it was a practice game.
|Australia Total: 351/7 (50 overs)||Pakistan Total: 337/10 (47.4 overs)|
|G. Maxwell 77 (71)||B. Azam 90 (59)|
|C. Green 50 (40)||I. Ahmed 83 (85)|
|U. Mir 2/31||M. Labuschagne 3/78|
|M. Nawaz 1/34||P. Cummins 2/34|
Australia batted brilliantly and staged a late comeback to edge past Pakistan. This match was an indication of how the pitches will be in the world cup. There will be regular big scores and the ability to contain the opponent with tight bowling will be the determining factor. Australia’s world cup 2023 campaign starts on the 8th of November against India in Chennai. Pakistan will kick start their campaign on next Friday with a date against the Netherlands.