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October 1, 2012
One poor showing, against India no less, has suddenly thrown Pakistan's World Twenty20 campaign onto far less certain ground than it had occupied solidly since day one of the tournament. Another loss to Australia, the competition's most assured and dominant team so far, and the Pakistanis will be highly unlikely to make the semi-finals. It is a harsh scenario, but a reflection of the competition's format, calling for consistent results. The hesitance and doubt evident against India must quickly be shed from the minds and limbs of Pakistan's cricketers, but the looming possibility of elimination may not aid the return of a state of focus.
By contrast, Australia know they do not even need to win to progress, for they will qualify for the semi-finals unless Pakistan can inflict the sort of thrashing George Bailey's men have commonly dealt out so for, and a similar margin unfolds in India's match against South Africa. So far led with exceptional poise and power by the irrepressible Shane Watson, the Australians have not had their depth of batting tested. Nevertheless, the likes of Michael Hussey and Cameron White have shown decent touch in their brief stays at the crease, and the confidence of all players has benefited from Watson's show of strength.
These two sides are very familiar with one another, having contested T20 and ODI series in the UAE as a prelude to this event. Australia began that T20 series floundering, and ended it with growing confidence. They have gone up another notch or three since, while Pakistan have been shaken by the India defeat. Mohammad Hafeez's team will hope to regain the confidence they showed in Dubai, or risk elimination from an event they looked in with a chance to win a few days ago.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for
Pakistan (probable): 1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 2 Imran Nazir, 3 Nasir Jamshed, 4 Kamran Akmal (wk), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Yasir Arafat, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Raza Hasan
Xavier Doherty will be very difficult to drop from Australia's XI following his exceptional 3 for 20 against South Africa.
Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Mike Hussey, 4 Cameron White, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Xavier Doherty
Pitch and conditions
Stats and trivia
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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