The match between Australia and Pakistan is now have so much relevance that many of the Indian fans will also keep an eye on the outcome of this game. A win for Pakistan in this game once again wide open the race between India and Australia for the semi final spots.
Pakistan who already qualified for the semi finals from Group A and New Zealand & England are other qualifiers from Group B. Only one spot is left from Group A which will be grabbed by either Australia or India.
Monday’s washout have thrown both India and Australia in a do-or-die situation, both teams need to win their game. However a win for Australia means India win over West Indies in their day/nigh encounter have no relevancy on this tournament and they have to go back home with another ICC major events disappointment in the space of three month time.
A resounding Pakistan victory over Australia will keep alive the hopes of MS Dhoni's men, but only if India can inflict a heavy defeat on the West Indians at the Wanderers the same day.
Australia have one advantage going into the game, Pakistan is thinking to rest some of their key players ahead of semi finals and that will be great news for the Aussie. Imran Nazir, Umar Gul and Rana Naved might get rest for this game.
That means pacer Md. Asif is all set to return to international arena also Misbah-ul-Haq who missed out last game against India is likely to be included in the playing XI.
Likely Playing XI for both Teams (Match is Schedule to begin at 13:00 PM India Time)
Australia Squad: Shane Watson, Tim Paine (WK), Ricky Ponting (Captain), Michael Hussey, Cameron White, Callum Ferguson, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle.
Pakistan Squad: Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan (Captain), Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Iftikhar Anjum, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Asif.
Pitch and Condition
After heavy rains on Monday it will be interesting to see how pitch will play, whether it continues to help spinners or give some assistant to pace bowlers. But with clear day at Centurion, team winning the toss would love to bowl first so that pitch will ease out until their turn. Team bowling first would love to restrict the opposition below 250 to give them fair chance of chasing down the target with ease.
Stats & Trivia
Australia edge Pakistan in terms of stats. In last 12 ODI’s against Pakistan, Australia manages to win 9 one day internationals.
Ricky Ponting is known for playing crucial innings in crunch game like this. He is also in supreme touch since arrival in South Africa with an average of 72 and two half-centuries under his belt.