Pakistan have already lost their opening match of the World Twenty20 and now face a ferocious Australian side on Sunday to try and make amends.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Date: Sunday, March 23
Start time: 9:30 a.m. GMT
Weather: According to Accuweather, there will be a few thunderstorms around in the morning. Despite the warm temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, there is a chance that there will be some rain about with 40 percent chance of precipitation forecast.
Australia are one of the more balanced sides in the tournament, and after seeing how dismally Pakistan performed against India on Friday, they'll fancy their chances. Pakistan simply didn't show up, and a below-average batting performance saw them easily beaten.
Australia were dominant against South Africa in their recent (if brief) T20 series and have the momentum to carry into the Super 10s, but in the shortest format, things can change quickly. Australia have won five of their last five T20s, but that might not mean all that much. Aussie skipper George Bailey certainly believes it will come down to those one or two key moments when the pressure is on. He told a press conference, as reported by the ICC:
The shorter the format, the closer it brings two teams, the more it comes down to one incident—it can be one catch, might be one over, might be one wicket that's taken. There's a whole different range of ways that a game can be won and lost in T20s and it can happen quickly.
The last time the two teams met in World T20 was in the previous edition in Sri Lanka. Pakistan won that game easily, thanks to their spinners. In the qualifying stages, the tracks looked to be in favour of the turners, but the last few games have taken a different complexion with batting being completely dominant.
When it comes to batting dominance, Australia have got two of the best T20 batsmen in the world in David Warner and Aaron Finch. And while they will be tested against the spin, if conditions are as flat and damp as they are forecast to be, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
For Pakistan, it's all about bouncing back. One loss won't hamper their chances of progressing too much, but if they lose a second, things become far trickier. Considering Pakistan are the poster boys for Jekyll and Hyde cricket, hold your breath for this one.
Aaron Finch is brutally destructive, and if he can subdue Pakistan's spin threat, Australia will be right on top. He averages 41.83 in the 14 T20s he's played, with three 50s and a hundred to his name, so expect some fireworks if he gets in.
Saeed Ajmal was Pakistan's most effective bowler in the opening fixture with 1-18. Against Australia in T20s, he has 18 wickets at an average of 13.22. It's fair to say Ajmal has made Australia his bunny, and he'll need to repeat those heroics.
James Faulkner, David Warner, Brad Hogg, James Muirhead, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Doug Bollinger, Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin (wk), Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey (c), Cameron White, Aaron Finch
Mohammad Hafeez (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar