Pakistan target ODI form turnaround against Australia

Five match ODI series will be played at Pakistan’s adopted home of United Arab Emirates against Australia from 22nd March to 31st March 2019. Shoaib Malik will lead Green Shirts, in place of rested captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. First two matches will be hosted in Sharjah, while third game will take place in Abu Dhabi. Final two ODIs will be contested in Dubai. Aaron Finch will be the skipper of the visiting Australian squad. Pakistan and Australia will use this ODI series for preparation of Cricket World Cup 2019.

Pakistan will seek redemption in one day internationals format. Pakistan are ranked number one in the ICC T20I Rankings. This is disturbing that a team performing so well in the shortest format of cricket, is struggling in other limited form of the sport. Pakistan are ranked sixth in the current ICC ODI Rankings. Since the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy victory, Pakistan have won ODI series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Pakistan have lost ODI series tours against New Zealand and South Africa. Pakistan were able to draw home ODI series versus New Zealand though in UAE. Green Shirts have to do a lot of catching up in ODI format of cricket.

Pakistan Squad for home ODI Cricket Series against Australia in UAE
Pakistan Squad for home ODI Cricket Series against Australia in UAE

Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail and fast bowler Junaid Khan have returned after gaining fitness. Umar Akmal has been recalled after a good showing in Pakistan Super League and domestic cricket. Test bowling sensation Mohammad Abbas has earned ODI call up. Opening batsman Abid Ali and middle order batter Saad Ali who are unc Young pace bowler Mohammad Hasnain maiden has got ODI call-up after remarkable performance for Quetta Gladiators in fourth edition of PSL. Mohammad Rizwan will be wicket-keeper in absence of Sarfaraz Ahmed.

ODI series against Australia will be a test of leadership skills of Pakistan stand-in captain Shoaib Malik. He had assumed captaincy mid way during ODI series versus South Africa, when permanent skipper was suspended. Shoaib Malik started well by handing Proteas first ever defeat in a pink day ODI. South Africa outclassed Pakistan in final ODI to win series 3-2. South Africa won the subsequent T20I series 2-1 against Pakistan, where Shoaib Malik was again captain. Pakistan’s unbeaten T20I series streak was broken after 11th series. Shoaib Malik had a forgettable PSL 2019 where Multan Sultans under his captaincy ended joint-bottom with Lahore Qalandars.

Pakistan Squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Saad Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain

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