Australia tour of the UAE

Chance for Australia's fringe players as Pakistan look to stop the slide

Australia will look to continue the domination over Pakistan after they sealed the series with an 80-run victory in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. They won the first two ODIs in Sharjah by eight wickets in both games before choosing to bat first in the third ODI and restricting Pakistan.

On the other hand, it's problems galore for Pakistan. Despite their rhetoric of testing new players in the series, they had enough firepower to at least challenge the Aussies. But there hardly has been any intent.

As the action moves to Dubai for the fourth ODI, Pakistan’s stand-in skipper Shoaib Malik reiterated that it was important to back the youngsters to give them enough chances to press their claims for the 2019 ODI World Cup,

“We are trying to give all the players chances so the selection committee and team management have a better picture in front of them,” said Malik. “Its international cricket, so every game is important. We have two more opportunities. If we win two games, we have something in our pocket.”

Malik said his batsmen failed to take the game deep in their chase for a 267-run target in Abu Dhabi.

“When you chase, you need to keep wickets and go deep in the game, that’s where you create chances, but we couldn’t do that,” said Malik. Pakistan were dismissed for 186 in 44.4 overs in the third ODI.

“The Australia bowlers were seaming and swinging the ball around. If you give couple of chances to a good batsman, then expect to chase something big. Getting opportunities and grabbing them is the key of the game.”

Imam-ul-Haq top-scored with 46 while Imad Wasim (43) and Umar Akmal (36) were the other batsmen who got good starts but did not capitalise.

Pakistan are likely to uncapped opener Abid Ali and middle-order batsman Saad Ali. They might also bring back Mohammad Amir in place of young Mohammad Hasnain, who has gone wicketless in both outings.

 Australia's successive ODI wins in Asia ©Cricingif

Australia's successive ODI wins in Asia ©Cricingif

On the other hand, Ashton Turner might get a go ahead in Dubai after impressing with the selectors on India tour.

Aaron Finch stressed the need to continue building the side.

“We’ve been building up and doing the basics well. Any time you can beat India and Pakistan in their home conditions, is good,” said Finch. “We’re playing spin a lot better than we have in the past and that is an improvement.

“Handscomb played a good innings before he was knocked over by a good ball. Partnerships don’t allow the opposition to get on top. That’s been an improvement. Maxwell and Handscomb both played great knocks. As a captain, it’s very hard to set fields to guys like that.”

Form (last five ODIs)

Pakistan: L, L, L, L, W

Australia: W, W, W, W, W

Squads

Pakistan (probable):

Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Umar Akmal/Saad Ali, Shoaib Malik (c), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah

Australia (probable):

Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb/Ashton Turner, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

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