australia vs pakistan

3rd ODI – Australia vs Pakistan Preview

Australia vs Pakistan
Third ODI, WACA, 19 January

Pakistan levelled the series with a 6 wicket win in Melbourne. It was a team performance from the visitors. They rolled Australia for 220 and the batsman finally backed up their bowlers by comfortably chasing the modest total. Mohammad Hafeez received man of the match honours with his 72.

The series now heads to Perth. Australia’s top order struggled in the first two matches. They were 5-78 in Brisbane and 4-86 in Melbourne. While credit needs to be paid to Pakistan’s bowlers, I doubt Warner, Khawaja and Smith will let it happen again. Mitch Marsh would also like some runs on his home deck after being promoted in the batting order. Australia has averaged 335 in their last three ODIs at the WACA, and will be aiming to get near that again.

Pakistan has bowled well in the first two ODIs. Early wickets have been the key and they have put Australia on the back foot. Their batsmen were up to the task last outing, but can they do it again without the injured Azhar Ali? Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam have been steady at the top, while Shoaib Malik’s inclusion added some experience in the middle. I’m not sure it is enough if Australia’s top order gets going.

Stadium Record

Australia has won their last three at the WACA. They beat India by 5 wickets, Afghanistan by 275 runs and England by 112 runs. Pakistan last played an ODI at the WACA in 2010. It was back to back matches and they lost them both. Their last win in Perth was in 2005.

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Words: Rhys Thurston