Confident Pakistan to face Australia today

A revamped Pakistan side are all set to face Kangaroos today at United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first of five-match One-day International (ODI) series.

This series will be an important international assignment for the green shirts before they kick off their World Cup campaign this year, as Pakistan have rested their six key players – captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi, giving a chance to the bench players to grab spot in WC 2019 squad.

Stand-in skipper Shoaib Malik, while briefing to the media in pre-series presser yesterday said that he will try to bring all boys on one page as the visitors will come strong after the enormity of defeating India on their home ground.

On the other hand, Aussies have an opportunity to confirm the growing sense that the jigsaw pieces are falling into place at just the right time in their five-match against Pakistan team in the absence of their several key players.

Australian skipper Aaron Finch also looks confident as he hopes that his team will carry the momentum of a series win in India to Sharjah pitches.

Pakistan are likely to give a one-day cap to opener Shan Masood after a good Test series in South Africa while either 18-year-old Mohammad Hasnain or Mohammad Abbas will supplement Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf in the pace attack.

Meanwhile, Australian flamboyant all-rounder Glen Maxwell has been struggling with health and it can make the visitors’ decision easy to play both of their front-line spinners, Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon on a turning track in Sharjah.

Pakistan have won just one game against Australia from the last ten one-day internationals.

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

Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa