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Australia vs Pakistan: Rain Threat Looms Large as Australia Seek to Bounce Back from India Defeat

Injuries and weather have been the two major talking points over the last two days of the World Cup. It isn't ideal but that's how things stand with the weather largely calling the shots in the UK. The two encounters at Southampton and Bristol respectively over the last two days have both been washed out and as the tourney heads to Taunton where Australia and Pakistan are set to face off, the forecast once again isn't promising.

Cricketnext Staff |June 11, 2019, 9:15 PM IST
Australia vs Pakistan: Rain Threat Looms Large as Australia Seek to Bounce Back from India Defeat

Injuries and weather have been the two major talking points over the last two days of the World Cup. It isn't ideal but that's how things stand with the weather largely calling the shots in the UK. The two encounters at Southampton and Bristol respectively over the last two days have both been washed out and as the tourney heads to Taunton where Australia and Pakistan are set to face off, the forecast once again isn't promising.

Rain is expected to make a continuous appearance when the two sides clash in The Cooper Associates County Ground but we could expect some play with the radar likely to clear later in the day.

Australia, after their 36-run loss at the hands of India, will hope to return to winning ways while Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan, who have already suffered a washout game against Sri Lanka earlier will want to build on the good form that saw them defeat England by 14 runs in Nottingham.

Pakistan have been left frustrated as they would have harboured hopes of a win against a depleted Sri Lanka unit. They will have their task cut out against a full-strength Australian unit but will certainly fancy their chances as they did against England. It was a clinical all-round show from Pakistan right from their batsmen to the fast bowlers in Nottingham.

But that's the thing with Pakistan. It usually is unclear which team might turn up on the day. The same team which was bundled out for 105 in their opening encounter against West Indies hammered 348/8 in their very next game. The Pakistan fans and team management will desperately hope the latter turns up come Wednesday.

Pakistan might have just won one their last 14 One-Day Internationals against Australia but captain Aaron Finch was in no mood to take them lightly.

Image: PCB Image: PCB

"Pakistan are obviously a very dangerous side," Finch said. "We've seen consistently throughout, especially ICC tournaments, that they win a lot of games and they get themselves in a position to win the tournament.

"They had a great Champions Trophy. So regardless of what kind of form Pakistan go in with, they're always incredibly dangerous."

Australia might not have been on the right side of the result against India but they can take heart from their performance of the batsmen who gave India a tough fight chasing 353. The bowling though left a lot to be desired especially that of Mitchell Starc's, who went for runs aplenty in the backend.

However, under overcast conditions and on a surface which had a greenish tinge on first glance, the Australian pace unit will hope for a better show. There was absolutely no swing for the fast bowlers at Trent Bridge which is likely to change when the two teams battle it out in Taunton.

The Pakistan pace trio will also be a handful in case the conditions remain overcast but for now captains from both sides are just hoping the clouds don't open up and spoil the party for a straight third game.

"The weather might play a huge part in the next few days," Finch said. "Next week it starts fine and looks good across the country for the remainder of the tournament."

Australia will be without Marcus Stoinis for Wednesday's encounter with the all-rounder ruled out due to a side strain. Conditions are likely to dictate who Australia might play tomorrow in Stoinis' place. If it is indeed overcast, Jason Behrendorff might be slotted in else Australia might go with Shaun Marsh in a bid to strengthen their middle-order.

Last Five ODIs

Australia

L W W W W

Australia's run of 10 consecutive wins was finally snapped by India at Trent Bridge. They started off their campaign with two comfortable wins against Afghanistan and West Indies and will hope for a similar show against Pakistan, who they recently beat 5-0 in a bilateral series in UAE.

Pakistan

NR W L L L

Pakistan finally came out of their 11-match losing streak to get past England. They would have wanted to continue with that winning momentum against Sri Lanka but rain denied them. That is something they will be looking to do in this game.

Players to Watch Out For

Pat Cummins: The pacer was in his elements in the game against India bowling with pace and venom. He even injured Shikhar Dhawan, whose Cup future now hangs in the balance. With the conditions in his favour, Cummins will want to once again bring out his best against Pakistan.

Wahab Riaz: A little bit of nip in the air and Riaz becomes a totally different bowler. He looked in imperious form against England and will want to put in a repeat of that show at Taunton.

Team News/Availability

Australia: Marcus Stoinis has been ruled out due to a side strain.

Pakistan: Bangladesh have the full squad available for them.

Squads:

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more