Pakistan v Australia ODI series in UAE 2019: Preview, Team Squads, Schedule and Series Predictions

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja
©Reuters
 

The five-match ODI series between Pakistan and Australia has been arranged on short notice to give both teams game time before the World Cup and finalise their 15-member World Cup squads.


Australia's confidence would be skyhigh after winning the ODI series 3-2 against India. India are considered as one of the contenders for the World Cup and it was believed that Australia would find it very tough to win even a couple of matches on the tour, let alone the series.

However, the Aussies shocked one and all and stepped up their game when it mattered. The shining light in their batting order was Usman Khawaja who did not have an ODI century before his India tour. Khwaja cracked two centuries and a 90 to get his ODI career going.

Peter Handscomb also showed his class, particularly against spinners and played the role of a sheet anchor. Apart from one good knock, captain and opener Aaron Finch is still struggling to find his feet. Same is the case with Shaun Marsh.

The stocks of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell are on the rise as both contributed substantially in the Australian series victory.

One player who came out of the blue to make a name for himself was Ashton Turner who helped Australia chase more than 350 runs in the 4th ODI which turned out to be the biggest Australian ODI chase in history. Turner scored 80 odd at a strike rate of almost 200 and would be someone to watch out for in the ODI series against Pakistan.

The bowlers were no less. The new-ball quicks in Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins did a fine job. Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile made a mark whenever they got a chance but it was Adam Zampa who claimed big wickets consistently and changed the game many-a-time in the series. Nathan Lyon was also impressive.

Having not yet recovered fully from their injuries, Steve Smith and David Warner have not been included in the Australian squad for the last two matches, as was earlier speculated.

On the other hand, Pakistan have made an interesting move of resting regular skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and entrusting the captaincy with Shoaib Malik. Sarfaraz was supposed to return after his four-match ban for racist comments in South Africa but he has been rested.

Likewise, a handful of frontline Pakistani players such as Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam have also been rested. However, reports that are doing the rounds are that each of them is carrying some niggle or the other. Any which way, resting most of your front line players for a ODI series just before the World Cup will always be debatable.

Most of the Pakistani players were engrossed in the Pakistan Super League till now. Players like Umar Akmal and Junaid Khan who performed well in the league have got an opportunity to prove their mettle.

With Pakistan resting a lot of their key players and Australian cricket on an incline, the odds would be in favour of the visitors.

 

Here are the squads for the tour:

Pakistan squad

Shoaib Malik, Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas , Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Hasnain

Australia squad

Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

 

Here's are our predictions for the series:

Winner: Australia (3-2)

Highest run-scorer:

Australia- Usman Khawaja

Pakistan- Imam-ul-Haq

Highest wicket-taker:

Australia- Adam Zampa

Pakistan- Usman Shinwari

Most boundaries:

Australia- Glenn Maxwell

Pakistan- Imam-ul-Haq

Here's the schedule of the tour:

1st ODI- MAR 22, FRIDAY


Pakistan vs Australia

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

11:00 GMT

2nd ODI- MAR 24, SUNDAY

Pakistan vs Australia

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

11:00 GMT

3rd ODI- MAR 27, WEDNESDAY

Pakistan vs Australia

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

11:00 GMT

4th ODI- MAR 29, FRIDAY

Pakistan vs Australia

Dubai International Cricket Stadium , Dubai

11:00 GMT

5th ODI- MAR 31, SUNDAY

Pakistan vs Australia

Dubai International Cricket Stadium , Dubai

11:00 GMT

©Cricket World 2019