IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Pakistan more threatening in ODI arena


younisMatch Facts
Friday, January 22, the Gabba
Start time 1325 (0325 GMT)

The Big Picture
After the three Tests come the five ODIs and a Twenty20 to complete Pakistan’s tour. While the opening segment of the trip ended in a 3-0 victory for Australia, the limited-overs arrangements will be much more competitive.

Despite the result, Pakistan’s squad became more united as the tour went on and they have received some key reinforcements, with Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi added to the unit. The tourists have also troubled Australia in their most recent engagements and their fast-bowling unit, which includes Mohammad Aamer, will worry the hosts at times. Australia won a tight series in the UAE 3-2 last year and the teams also ran into each other at the Champions Trophy, when Australia sneaked home by two wickets.

This series will be an important gauge of the popularity of the 50-over game. Twenty20 crowds have been huge for the domestic Big Bash and five-match head-to-head series against Pakistan and West Indies will test Australia’s love affair with the format that began here in the 1970s.

Form guide (most recent first)
Australia NWWWL
Pakistan LLWLL

Watch out for…
Younis Khan is back after resigning the captaincy and Pakistan are glad to have his services. One of the game’s finest batsmen, Younis averages 33.12 over 197 ODIs and will bring some much-needed experience to the young line-up. He won’t be captain - that job is still Mohammad Yousuf’s - but he will be leading from the front.

Shane Watson has just come off the best Test campaign of his career, with 609 runs in six Tests, and it will be interesting to see whether that form translates back to the one-day arena. It was his performances at the Champions Trophy and in India that set up his fine summer. He will be a main man with bat and ball as he returns to an old home ground.

Team news
The Australians have picked their 12 and the only tricky decision is whether to play Nathan Hauritz or use three quicks in partnership with Watson and James Hopes. Michael Clarke has talked about being ready to bowl some of his left-arm spin, so he may be employed if Hauritz is left out.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Cameron White, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 James Hopes, 9 Clint McKay, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Doug Bollinger, 12 Nathan Hauritz.

Things are less clear for Pakistan, who are lugging around a 17-man squad. Expect Kamran Akmal to return, more for his power hitting than his glovework, after he was dropped for the final Test in Hobart. The tourists have a lot of strike power, led by Afridi and the Akmal brothers.

Pakistan squad Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Yousuf (capt), Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wk), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Khalid Latif, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Mohammad Aamer, Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Asif.

Pitch and conditions
The Gabba has been excellent for batting during the domestic Twenty20 matches over the past month and whoever wins the toss will want to set a big target. In the early overs of the second innings the ball can swing as darkness falls, making life harder for the run-makers, and the extra bounce will take the Pakistanis some time to adjust to. The weather is expected to be fine throughout Friday, with a top of 32C.

Stats and trivia

* Australia and Pakistan have two wins each in five head-to-head contests at the Gabba, with one game rained out
* Pakistan have won six and lost seven of their 14 matches at the ground while Australia have been successful 14 times in 31 appearances
* The tourists own the lowest score at the Gabba in an ODI after managing 71 against West Indies in 1992-93
* Dean Jones has the most runs in Brisbane with 513, while Ricky Ponting is the best of the current group with 324
* Shoaib Akhtar’s 5 for 25 in 2002 equalled the best figures at the ground for an ODI.

Source:Cricket News

Image Source: DayLife

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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