Tue, Oct 23, 8:49am by Head Editor
After losing the Test series 1-0, Justin Langer’s Australian squad turns it’s attention to the shortest form of the game, a 3-game Twenty-20 series against Pakistan.
While only T20 skipper Aaron Finch, off-spinner Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc are the three Test players who are set to take the field in this series, the scars of the disastrous batting efforts in Abu Dhabi will be hard to forget for the green and gold.
There is also question marks of paceman Mitchell Starc’s fitness, with Victorian seamer Peter Siddle included in the expanded 16-man squad as cover if the left-armer’s hamstring injury keeps him out of Thursday’s series opener.
Having defeated Australia in the final of July’s tri-series that also included Zimbabwe, Pakistan are a $1.81 favourite to salute, with the new-look Aussie side at $2.
Coach Langer explained to cricket.com.au his mindset on making so many changes to the lineup “you’ve got to pick your best T20 side and you’ve got to pick your best one-day side” and went on to say “If you ask the players, they want to play for Australia. They love playing for their states, but you love playing international cricket.”
Finch the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world and fellow Victorian Glenn Maxwell also has a point to prove after he was controversially left out of the Test squad.
‘Maxy’ comes into this one in great form having scored 542 runs at 68 from his last 15 matches at an impressive strike rate of 175.
Australia warmed up for this contest with a seven wicket win over the United Arab Emirates. Queenslander Ben McDermott hit the winning runs but it was Darcy Short’s 68 off just 42 balls that ensured the visitors got the win.
While the visitors have elected to go into this series with an almost completely different side, Pakistan’s lineup will have a very similar look about it and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will be hoping to replicate his good Test form with the bat.
Pakistan’s batting lineup is a powerful one with Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik and Shadab Khan to be joined by Fakhar Zaman who made his Test debut in the recently completed second Test against the Aussies.
Overall, Pakistan has won 10 of 17 T20’s against the green and gold, but with Australia bringing in so many fresh faces we are going to steer clear of the head to head betting market.
Suggested Bet: Aaron Finch to top score for Australia: $3.20
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