Australia vs Pakistan – 1st T20 International Preview & Prediction

AT A GLANCE

When? Wednesday, October 24th

Where? Abu Dhabi

Weather? 33c expected and sunshine all day

What channel is it on? This match will be televised live on Star GOLD, Sky Channel 729

Where can I stream the match? The match will not be streamed live in the UK

THE TEAM NEWS

AUSTRALIA

  • Australia had a gentle warm-up for this series as they comfortably beat the UAE on Monday by seven wickets with 23 balls to spare, but this will represent a major step up in quality of opponent as Pakistan will aim to start fast.
  • The biggest positive from that match was the form of D’Arcy Short as he played a lovely 68 not out from 53 balls, but the rest of their line-up will have to improve against this talented bowling attack and Finch will have to move back into T20 mode after playing in the tests against Pakistan.
  • Despite losing the last test match in emphatic fashion, this is virtually a complete different side from the test team and the likes of Mitchell Starc are unlikely to feature due to a muscular issue so they may well repeat the same side that played on Monday.

PAKISTAN

  • This talented Pakistani side have flown under the radar somewhat in recent times but they are ranked as the number one T20 team in the world right now and have won their last nine series against some of the best sides around so they are the team to beat at the moment.
  • Paceman Mohammad Amir has been left out of the 15-man squad once again as they seem likely to move in a younger direction now while they have included talented spinner Shadab Khan but he is unlikely to feature in this match due to injury.
  • Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is coming off an impressive Afghanistan Premier League campaign where a number of Pakistani players featured so that may give them a slight edge coming into this series in making a fast start.

THE PREDICTION

These two sides played a tri-series at the start of July in Zimbabwe with the hosts and they shared a win apiece in the round robin phase before Pakistan beat Australia in the final by six wickets. Pakistan’s record in T20s lately is tremendous having won their last nine series and they will relish the opportunity to retain their status as the number one team in the world in this format. Australia have some quality in their ranks but they still do not seem to be at their best given all the controversy around the camp in recent months. They will need their pacemen to make in-roads in the Pakistan top order early on otherwise this may well prove a difficult assignment for them with Pakistan favoured in this.