Match Preview: Australia vs Pakistan, at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. March 23, 2014, Start time 15:30 (Local Time), 09:30 (GMT)


This is where it all begins for Australia, the push for that elusive World T20 title. Australian team enter the tournament with five wins out of five games played before this. But all those were played in different conditions. The slower tracks in Bangladesh will provide a challenge to them.

On the other hand Pakistan’s campaign in this tournament started with a defeat in the hands of India on Friday. A loss might not hurt their chances much but two loss in two matches would make it difficult to come back. So it will be crucial game for them to win.

These two teams have not met even once in a T20 since the Super-8 stage of the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka, when Pakistan beat Australia comfortably with the help of spinners, which is the big danger for Australia again. With the power in their batting line-up, most of big hitters are comfortable with the balls bowled by pacers than against the spinners with tough variations. With India, West Indies and Bangladesh in this group, this match will be a crucial note to Australia about how will they handle against spin challenges later in the tournament.

Looking at the circumstances it will be a big match for both the team and hopefully they would be willing to open their points tally.

Head-to-Head in T20’s:

In T20 Internationals Australia and Pakistan have played 11 games first of them been in 2007 World T20, where Pakistan beaten Australia by 6 wickets. In 11 head to head clashes Pakistan leads with 6 games and Australia winning 4 games. One game ended in tie which was won by Pakistan in Super Over. In World T20s 4 games have been played between these teams and both won two matches each.

Pitch Report: The wicket in the Mirpur stadium will be helping the spinners as it will be a dusty track, which may be slower than earlier.

Weather Report: The rain is not expected for this game as the weather will be mostly clear. No chance of dew because the match is being played in the afternoon.

Recent Form:

(Last Five Games)

Australia: WWWWW

Pakistan: LLWWW

Teams News:

Australia All-rounder James Faulkner will be missing the game, as he is yet to recover from his knee injury. It means that Daniel Christian will be taken in to the team in his absence.

Australia’s Possible Playing XI:

Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey (capt), Brad Hodge, Brad Haddin (wk), Daniel Christian, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Brad Hogg.

The Pakistan’s batting was the main reason in their loss against India and they have only one backup batsman in form of Sharjeel Khan. However, spin is likely to be crucial role; they may play two seamers rather than three and may bring in the left-arm seamer Zulfiqar Babar instead of Bilawal Bhatti.

Pakistan’s Possible Playing XI:

Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Mailk, Shahid AfridiBilawal Bhatti / Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal.

Players to be watched out for:

David Warner:

His recent form across all the formats on international stage made him a batsman to be watched in this tournament. In ODIs against England in January he made 154 runs in three games, and followed that in the Tests against South Africa with 543 runs which included 3 centuries. He followed it with a 40 off 16 balls in the rain-shortened T20 in Durban. In the only warm-up game made a quick-fire 65 from 26 deliveries against New Zealand putting up 118 in 8 overs with Aaron Finch.

Saeed Ajmal:

In 10 T20s played against Australia, he picked up 18 wickets at an average 13.22. In turning conditions Ajmal troubles the Australians as he already done in a few matches in Asia. Opposition cannot get him away and the pressure results in wickets. Especially his doosra will cause problems for batsmen to face.