Pakistan come up against Australia as the group stages of the Super 10's comes towards it's closing stages. A win for Pakistan keeps them fighting in the competition until at least the last match between of the competition, whilst a win for the Aussies leaves it in their hands as they would then need to be India in order to progress to the semi-final stage. The match takes place in Chandigarh on Friday morning at 9.30 AM UK time.
It's the Aussies who head into the match as heavy favourites despite only winning one match from their two so far and have yet to really play at their best but, when all their top players fire they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Pakistan have lost two of their opening three matches against the impressive New Zealand and hosts India whilst well beating Bangladesh last weekend. Australia were really put on the back foot in their opening match as they lost to New Zealand but, they bounced back in their second match against Bangladesh to claim a victory which was closer than many people were expecting it to be. The losers of this match are out and so these just highlights are key this battle is and also how serious both sides will be treating this match on Friday morning.
The last time that these two met in T20's was in October 2014 and Australia won easily on that occasion, winning by six wickets with six overs still remaining in the match. Pakistan batted first and really struggled to cope with the conditions in Dubai and collapsed to 96-9 from their twenty overs. In reply an unbeaten David Warner 50 saw the Australian’s home with ease although they did lose four wickets in quick time in the middle but, James Faulkner was there to help Warner to see the match out. Overall in T20's these two sides have met 13 times with Pakistan having the edge winning seven times, with one match tied and the other five victories by the Aussies.
Usman Khawaja - Khawaja will be really key to the Aussie's success in this match as he is in a real great run of form and is currently keeping explosive opener Aaron Finch out of the starting line-up which is some achievement. In the first two matches of the competition the Aussie opener has scored 58 and 38 to help his side to get off to decent enough starts in both matches but, he is yet to really get going at all and this is something which he will be looking to do on Friday. Khawaja has great power and has formed a great partnership with Warner at the top of the order and is really developing well into his role at the top of the order.
Mohammed Amir - Amir is also really important to his side as he opens the bowling for his nation after completing his ban which he had for balling no-balls on a tour of England a number of years ago. Amir has been bowling well so far in this competition but, he is yet to reap the rewards of this and the amount of wickets which he has collected has been limited and if he is at his best then he can really cause problems to the top order of the Australian's. In these types of matches the early overs are key and so the role of Amir will be vital for his side if they are to get off to the start which there nation will need as the Aussie's bat a long way down in their batting line-up.
Ashton Agar may come back into Australian contention depending on the Mohali pitch, while Aaron Finch remains a reserve batting option should the selectors wish to shuffle a spluttering middle order. As always the Aussies have got lots of options in reserve but you would expect them to remain unchanged after winning their most recent match against Bangladesh on Tuesday afternoon.
Possible team: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 David Warner, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 James Faulkner, 8 Peter Nevill (wk), 9 John Hastings, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 11 Adam Zampa
Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz missed the New Zealand match through injuries. While Hafeez's fitness is still in doubt, Wahab is fit and may play in Mohammad Irfan's place.
Possible team: 1 Sharjeel Khan, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Khalid Latif, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Imad Wasim, 9 Mohammad Irfan/Wahab Riaz, 10 Mohammad Sami, 11 Mohammad Amir