Pakistan want to bounce back | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:22 PM, March 24, 2019

Pakistan want to bounce back

Second ODI against Australia today

After succumbing to an eight-wicket loss in the first of five one-day internationals against Australia, Pakistan will be keen to make a swift comeback in Sharjah on Sunday.

Pakistan looked comfortable for most of their innings after opting to bat in the opening ODI, but a flurry of wickets in the last 15 overs saw them post a below par 280/5. The run-rate too remained below 6 through the 50 overs.

Haris Sohail's century was the bright spot for the hosts in an otherwise timid batting display. They will want the rest of the line-up to make a strong claim for their spots, especially with the ICC World Cup 2019 just a couple of months away. Shan Masood and Umar Akmal, both of whom notched up 40-plus scores but could not kick on, will want to convert their starts in the second ODI.

The bowling unit, spearheaded by the experienced Mohammad Amir, was also rendered ineffective by Australia's counterpunch. Mohammad Abbas, in particular, will want to grab the opportunity with both hands. Pakistan might consider bringing in Junaid Khan for the second game.

Australia, on the other side, are brimming with confidence. After coming back from 2-0 down to win the ODI series 3-2 against India, they have made an instant statement against Pakistan as well. The team took time to find their right combination after Steve Smith and David Warner were suspended, but now seem to have turned into a well-oiled machine.

Players like Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb have stepped up significantly over recent weeks and have been fairly consistent in the middle order. The bowling line-up looks settled as well, with the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Zampa bringing their A game.

It will be interesting to see what combination Australia go for in the second ODI, considering the likes of Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins were on the bench for the series opener.

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