Australia haven’t played T20I cricket since March, when they lost to the West Indies twice, and it shows in their ranking – ninth, below Bangladesh, and only just pipping Ireland. Their individuals however, having been strutting their stuff domestically – in the IPL, SLPL and county cricket – with decent success. Michael Hussey (Chennai), Glenn Maxwell (Hampshire) and Brad Hogg (Wayamba), indeed, are no recent strangers to the shortest format. Pakistan have a two-match series draw against Sri Lanka to go on, though the make-up of their squad for this series is considerably different to June’s fold, with the recalls of Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal the most notable.
Shane Watson, who missed the recently concluded three-ODI series against Pakistan due to a calf-injury, sustained during England tour in July, joined Australia’s T20 squad in the UAE for the Pakistan series. The Queenslander said that playing a strong T20 side like Pakistan on the heels of the World Cup will help them get back in the groove after having not played T20 cricket for a while. Australia, currently ranked ninth on ICC’s T20 rankings table, only ahead of Ireland and Zimbabwe, have not played a T20 International since March 30, 2012. This year, they have so far played only four T20Is, two each against India and West Indies, with a fifty percent win-loss ratio. Like the ODIs, it’ll prove tight again. Despite the momentum from their series win, Australia remain up against it in conditions Pakistan are far more used to. Hence, Pakistan for a two-one T20I series win.
Match Timings: Sep 05, 2012 (20:00 local | 16:00 GMT | 21:30 IST)
Pakistan (probable) Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir.
Australia (probable) David Warner, Shane Watson, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, George Bailey (captain), Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Glenn Maxwell, Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc.