LAHORE: Pakistan seeks a strong comeback in the second ODI of the ongoing three-match series against Australia scheduled to be played at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium today (Thursday).
The hosts look for a turnaround to stay alive in the series as Australia handed them an 88-run defeat on the home ground in the first ODI on Wednesday.
The Babar Azam-led side showed poor performance in the opening game played sans key players Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan.
Except for openers Imam-ul-Haq and Babar, who scored a century and a half-century, respectively, the batters failed to develop big partnerships.
Babar looks forward to better bowling by Shaheen, who is expected to be back in the playing XI, Hassan Ali, and Haris Rauf, while the Kangaroos will seek to continue their momentum from the first game in which Travis Head, Adam Zampa, and Cameron Green shined for them.
While Travis struck a century and took two wickets, Zampa grabbed four wickets and Cameron played a brisk cameo towards the end of their innings. Ben Mcdermott was another performer with the bat as the 27-year-old scored 55 off 70 balls.
The pitch of the Gaddafi Stadium has always been batting friendly and the first match made it clear that a lot of runs would be coming off this track. However, spinners are getting help in the middle overs.
The weather remains hot and dry in Lahore where all three ODIs and the lone T20 International are to be played.
It had seemed that the series would have to be called off because of COVID-19 cases in the Australian camp, but all the members of the traveling party tested negative on Wednesday.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (C), Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Khushdil Shah, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Mohd Wasim Jr, Haider Ali, Saud Sakeel, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Shhnawaz Dahani, Iftikhar Ahmed, Usman Qadir.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, Ben McDermott, Jason Behrendorff, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Mithcell Swepson, Ben Dwarshuis, Marnus Labuschangne, Nathan Elis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Englis (WK).