After being rescued by rain from what appeared to be a certain defeat in the first T20I, Pakistan will be hoping to put up a convincing show when they meet Australia in Canberra’s Manuka Oval stadium on Tuesday.
Australia looked well on track to secure a comprehensive win after racing to 41-0 in just 3.1 overs in chase of a revised 119-run target in a 15-over game in Sydney when the match officials called off the play due to heavy rain.
Earlier, a majestic 38-ball 59 from newly-appointed skipper Babar Azam helped Pakistan post 107-5 in 15 overs. Babar combined with Mohammad Rizwan (31 off 33) for a 60-run stand steady the innings after the visitors lost two early wickets.
The result of the series-opener thwarted Aussies’ bid to become world no.1 T20I side. They needed a 3-0 win in over the men in green, like they secured in their preceding series against Sri Lanka, to replace Pakistan at the top position in the standing.
Pakistan have won only one of their eight T20I games in 2019. Their miserable run in the format includes a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of a second-string Sri Lankan side in Lahore last month.
The tourists are expected to make a couple of changes in their XI for the Canberra game. Mohammad Irfan is likely to be dropped after the paceman conceded 31 runs in two wicketless overs in Sydney. This may pave the way for the uncapped Mohammad Musa to make his international debut.
They could also bring in Imam ul Haq at the expense of Fakhar Zaman, who was sent packing by Mitchell Starc for a duck in Sydney.
The hosts, on the other hand, are expected to go with an unchanged XI in Tuesday’s game.
Babar Azam (Captain), Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Musa, Imad Wasim
Aaron Finch (Captain), Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Steven Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa