Australia will no doubt be full of confidence after claiming a famous series win with victory in the third test in Lahore. But Pakistan will surely be determined to get a measure of revenge in this white-ball series, whilst both sides will also have next year’s World Cup in the back of their minds. Who will come out on top? Read on for our full Australia vs Pakistan 1st ODI preview and prediction:
Pakistan vs Australia 1st ODI Preview and Prediction
Neither of these sides have played much one-day cricket of late. Pakistan were meant to be in action against New Zealand in September, but an alleged security threat led to that tour being cancelled. A three-match ODI series against the West Indies was also abandoned without a ball being bowled due to covid outbreaks in both camps. As a result, the hosts have not played a match in this format since last summer when they were humbled 3-0 by a scratch England side away from home.
Australia have been in ODI action more recently, but only by about a week. They toured the West Indies in July 2021, playing three ODIs in the penultimate week of July. Having been whitewashed in the preceding T20 series, it was a confidence booster for an Australian white-ball squad short of many of its leading lights as they dug out a 2-1 series win. They also beat India (at home) and England (away) by the same scores in the two series they played before that.
Unlike their visitors, Pakistan will be at full strength for this series. Imam-ul-Haq – who impressed in the Benaud-Qadir trophy – will open the batting alongside white-ball specialist Fakhar Zaman. Babar Azam will bat in his usual number three position, with test-match opener Abdullah Shafique likely to be in line for an ODI debut at number four. He has proven himself a fine addition to the Pakistan Test team, but also has a solid limited overs record domestically. Wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan will bat at five.
Batting all-rounder Khushdil Shah the likeliest option at number six in the absence of vice-captain Shadab Khan, who is out with a groin injury. Faheem Ashraf, who was badly missed in the Lahore Test, will surely return to the side at number seven, with spinner Asif Afridi in line for an international debut. With no place in the squad for Naseem Shah – excellent in the Test series – the Pakistan pace attack will consist of Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, with Ashraf offering support as a fourth seamer.
Australia will be without Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, David Warner and Steve Smith who have all been rested, whilst Josh Inglis will miss out after testing positive for covid-19. Mitchell Marsh will also not feature due to a hip injury. Captain Aaron Finch will open the batting, with Ben McDermott his likeliest partner, though Travis Head is also an option in that position. Marnus Labuschagne will bat at three, looking to improve on a solid but not spectacular ODI career so far.
If Head does not open, he will bat at four. Marcus Stoinis will likely bat at five, with Cameron Green at six and wicketkeeper Alex Carey at seven. They both had a fine Test series with the bat. Sean Abbott will be the last recognised batter at number eight. He will also be the senior bowler, with Australia expected to hand debuts to Nathan Ellis and Ben Dwarshuis. Adam Zampa has proven himself one of the world’s leading white-ball spinners and will have a key role to play here.
Australia have enough depth in the batting department to cope with the absence of Warner and Smith, despite excellent returns from Smith in particular in this format of late. But their attack looks short of threat without any of Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Particularly as Pakistan will a) be smarting after defeat in the Test series and b) boast a formidable batting line-up of their own. In fact, they look better equipped than their visitors with both bat and ball. Expect that to be reflected in the result.
Embed from Getty Images