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Pakistan vs Australia, 1st ODI Preview: Depleted Australia in experiment mode against favourites Pakistan

Pakistan's Haris Rauf celebrates with teammates
Pakistan's Haris Rauf celebrates with teammates

Australia are without David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith and Kane Richardson in the white-ball leg.

LIVE SCORES - Pakistan vs Australia, 1st ODI Preview

An out-of-favour format

After a gruelling three-match test series, it is now time for some fast paced white ball cricket. With two T20 World Cups being played in back to back years, the ODIs have been put on the back burner, more so due to the ever existent World Test Championship cycle now.

It has been a long time since both teams played ODIs. Pakistan last played against England back in July 2021 when they were clean swept 3-0 by a second string England unit.

Australia also played ODI cricket back in July 2021 when they won 2-1 against West Indies on tour with a team that had most of their stars missing and with Alex Carey leading the side.

Australia without big guns

After the test series which included all of Australia's stars, several players are not part of the white ball matches either due to injury or rest in the lead up to IPL 2022.

David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith and Kane Richardson are all not part of Australia's white ball squads. Steven Smith and Kane Richardson were set to play in the series but had to pull out due to injuries while Glenn Maxwell is taking some time off after his marriage.

Australia try to fit in both Marsh and Stoinis

Aaron Finch is back to lead Australia and will know that he needs to produce runs in order to hold on to the captaincy and his place in the side, more so in T20 cricket than in ODIs. He is likely to open the batting with Ben McDermott who was in sensational form in the last Big Bash League and did a decent job against Sri Lanka in the 5-match T20I series as well.

Mitchell Marsh, who set the stage on fire in the last T20 World Cup, can be given a chance at number 3. Marnus Labuschagne will be in the role of the anchor at number 4 in the absence of Smith.

Marcus Stoinis is likely to be preferred over Travis Head, with Alex Carey playing ahead of Josh Inglis, another talented wicket-keeper in the side.

2 spinners enough or does Oz need Swepson?

With the pitch in Lahore being quite dry, Australia will play at least two spinners, if not three. Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa are all set to start and the choice will be between Mitchell Swepson and one of the Australian pace bowlers.

Jason Behrendorff, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis and Sean Abbot are the quicks that the visitors have in a heavily depleted squad.

Onus on top 4

Pakistan will like some revenge after a loss in the hard-fought test series. While Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan open the batting for them in T20Is, Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman have done a great job for the side in ODIs for the longest time.

Babar will bat at 3 with Mohammad Rizwan following him at number 4 and the two will be crucial to Pakistan's tempo in the middle overs. Haider Ali did not have a great PSL 2022 but has been persisted with.

Dasher Iftikhar Ahmed is likely to bat at number 6 to provide some quick runs towards the end of the innings.

Pakistan's bowling options

With Imad Wasim having been dropped, Mohammad Nawaz will be Pakistan's spin bowling all rounder alongside Shadab Khan.

Wasim Khan Jr will get some competition from Hassan Ali who has been added to the squad in place of Mohammed Hasnain. Hasnain was recently barred from competitive cricket after his action was found to be illegal by the ICC.

Predicted Playing XIs

- Aaron Finch (c), Ben McDermott, Mitchell Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk),  Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Swepson/Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa

Pakistan - Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Wasim Jr/Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf 

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