Pakistan v Australia, 3rd ODI, Sharjah

Pakistan aim to break ten-year drought

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

September 3, 2012

Comments: 107 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saeed Ajmal sends down a delivery, Pakistan v Australia, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, August 31, 2012
Saeed Ajmal has taken 7 for 62 from 20 overs so far in this series © AFP
September 3-4, 2012
Start time 1800 (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

Pakistan and Australia return to Sharjah for the third one-day international, which has become the series decider after Australia took the first match and Pakistan won the second. For Pakistan, this is a chance to end a decade-long era without a one-day series win over Australia. Last time they beat Australia was in 2002 and it was also the last time Pakistan came back from losing the first match in a three-game series to win. They will rely heavily on Saeed Ajmal, who has caused real problems for Australia's batsmen in the first two games and has taken seven of the 15 wickets collected by Pakistan bowlers so far, at the remarkable average of 8.85. The Australians will consider attacking Ajmal more in this game, but if they continue to misread his doosra it may make little difference.

Australia need more runs from their openers, Matthew Wade and David Warner, and they might be keen to take a more aggressive approach after Warner took 19 balls to get off the mark in the second game. They also need to work out the best make-up of their attack should Mitchell Starc be ruled out due to injury after he left the field late in the second match. Choosing a frontline spinner, Xavier Doherty, would not be a bad option, although if they end up bowling second and find the conditions as dewy as they were on Friday in Abu Dhabi, it might not matter. Both matches have been won by the team chasing and Michael Clarke is unlikely to make the mistake of batting first again should he win the toss.

Form guide (Complete matches, most recent first)

Pakistan WLLLW
Australia LWLLL

Watch out for

Saeed Ajmal has taken 7 for 62 in the series so far and is far and were in not for his fine work on Friday, the Australians could well have posted a much heftier total. His variations leave the Australians muddled, and after they chose to be cautious with him in the first two games they might be considering a different approach this time. "He's a fantastic bowler. But we have to change our game plan," David Hussey said on Sunday. "We're defending him a little bit and to our peril. Maybe the best form of defence is attacking him. We've seen the Sri Lankans play him, we've seen the Indians play him, and we might think that's the better route to go."

There is no question that Australia have found a dynamic and useful one-day player in Glenn Maxwell, but his challenge is to finish the series by displaying his all-round talents. He made 38 from 38 in the first game and a brisk 28 from 27 in the second game, which featured two mighty sixes. Both were impressive short-burst innings for an ODI No.7. But he is yet to take a wicket and by offering a little more with the ball he could help himself stay ahead of Steven Smith in the minds of the selectors.

Team news

Shahid Afridi missed the second match due to back soreness but is believed to be fit for the third game and a straight swap with Abdur Rehman seems the most likely scenario.

Pakistan (possible) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Shahid Afridi, 9 Sohail Tanvir, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Mitchell Starc left the field late in the second ODI with what was later revealed to a problem with his side/chest and if he doesn't play, the Australians can bring in the uncapped Alister McDermott or one of the spinners, Xavier Doherty or Steven Smith, as his replacement. Doherty would appear the most likely candidate given the conditions and the lack a frontline spinner in their line-up in the first two games.

Australia (possible) 1 Matthew Wade (wk), 2 David Warner, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 David Hussey, 6 George Bailey, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Daniel Christian, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc/Xavier Doherty, 11 James Pattinson

Pitch and conditions

After the extremely dewy conditions in Abu Dhabi on Friday, the teams return to Sharjah for this third match. In the first two matches of the series it was the chasing team that emerged triumphant, so don't expect the captains to rush into a decision to bat first at the toss.

Stats and trivia

  • Should Pakistan win the third match it will be their first ODI series victory against Australia in ten years, since they took the honours in a winter series played in Australia that included two matches under the roof of Melbourne's Docklands stadium
  • In the past 12 months, only Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga has taken more ODI wickets than Saeed Ajmal's 44 at an average of 20.38
  • In the same period, Australia's leading ODI wicket takers have been Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay and Brett Lee - none of whom has played a match in this series


    "We played really well and we fought really well in the first game in Sharjah so we can take some confidence into that."
    Michael Hussey

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Ozzbozz on (September 3, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

RandyOZ wheres your 'Huge Aussie win' ? Really now your batsmen can't read Ajmal, you can only get a narrow win, or more likely lose, I'll go for the latter.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

Pakistan is always batting one batsman short when they take Afridi. He did not disappoint again. Scored 7 invaluable runs. With such a frgile batting line-up, Pakistan will lose again today. And Misbah has no cricketing brians.Why would they pick one second rate seamer? Misbah doesn't know how to rotate his bowlers. He allows the batsmen to get settled by not changing bowlers often. This game is in Australia's bag already.

Posted by Pak_Fans_Youth on (September 3, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

I agree with Syad Imran Abbas

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (September 3, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

4 spinners and a seamer, Its a gamble.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (September 3, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

this is silly. how many spinners you need? Not a good idea. there should have been atleast 2 seamers. they could have tried anwar ali at tanvirs place.. he can bat as well. big mistake. I am disappointed with musbah and co stretgy

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

One of the ever best gigantic ,enormous, extensive, tremendous, immense, demon father of destruction saeed Ajmal...can't wait longer... Surely he will deliver his best today.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Afridi is not bowling as he used to. He bowls loopy wide outside the off stump asking to for a drive regularly. His run up tells the story. Just see him running to bowl. He does not even complete his run up and runs back to bowl. Tanvir should be kept out. Malik should come in place of Rehman and Anwar Ali should play instead of Tanvir or Afridi should play instead of Tanvir. We do not need fast bowler.

Posted by Marcio on (September 3, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

Wow @Hammond! You must be psychic, so certain are you that the most unpredictable team in world cricket is going to win - and in conditions where the toss will be crucial. I was actually expecting you and your pommy mates to say something positive about Australia, other than the normal stuff - not...

Posted by Pak_Fans_Youth on (September 3, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

Pakistan should give a chance to Anwar Ali instead of Sohail Tanvir Because he Sohail cant bowl properly. He Dont have any line or length. Pakistan cant win the match with him. HE didnt bowl an over unless he give some extras.

Posted by arunmp3 on (September 3, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

its spin of pak vs pace of aussie

btw its shame tht pak identified misbah quite late in his career , i liked his captaincy, esp the way he keeps shoib malik out n giving youngsters a choice:)..............

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 3, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Expect a huge Aussie win here. Hussey won't allow another poor performance.

Posted by Hammond on (September 3, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

Strange. I'm going for my own countries team tonight. Must be that Aussie underdog supporting thing.

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (September 3, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

@ nck483 : We don't either about Pakistan future too :)

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

Ausies have to win today....just see....

Posted by dark_night_ranger on (September 3, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

comment f da day goes to,,,,,,,,,, whyowhy

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Should b a cracker!Ajmal is the best spinner in the world by a mile

Posted by dark_night_ranger on (September 3, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

@adnant202009champs,,,,Mr Adnan,,,,,u talk about his experience which I have also mentioned while saying more than 15 years,,,,,but in this 15 years can you please just remind me if he has played 15 match winning innings or bowled us to victory around 15 times,,,,,,no not at all,,,,,,so whats da use of having such an overrated player in the team which always lets u down whenever u expect him to deliver,,,,,,,

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Pakistan will win insha Allah

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (September 3, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

@ Biggus : Oh dear you really draw the picture of Pakistani team as I was trying to say it but not able to express it... thanks for that.. Im praying for Pakistan win as we don't win against Australia. It will be morale booster for Us..

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

Pakistani selector find another misbah its name azhar ali

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 3, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

How many lives are Mitchell Johnson and Xavier Doherty going to be given? I mean seriously... I'm all on for extended runs in teams by players that have shown something that bit special, but come on! Why not at least TRY Lyon in this ODI? Are ALL the other pace bowlers that were 'talked-up' still injured/ignored? My goodness, Pakistan are winning and even they are STILL willing to change their team a bit.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (September 3, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

@thebarmyarmy , he's probably got a chance to bowl for your mob, then. Finn's the only decent one amongst them. This is a 50/50 match - next WC is how far off - who really cares? I'm more worried about the SA test series in Nov/Dec.

Posted by Ammad125 on (September 3, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

I think Pakistan should play with Anwar Ali istead of Sohail and it is a deccider so it is going to be tight one and I hope for Pkistan win.Kamran and Jmashed should open with Hafeeez at no 7. And the only way to control Ajmal is to attcak and looks like Australia will do the same.. I hope for Pakistan win, INSHAHALLAH

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

I am hoping to see Afridi back in action today. Cricket is not cricket without him. His batting might be off colour but his bowling is excellent and his signature wicket taking post is wonderful. Best of luck to Pakistan and Afridi in this the final game later in the day.

Posted by nck483 on (September 3, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Afridi should not play... he is becoming headache for pakistan selectors and also for team. One more dangerous man is Umar Akmal... already he is an expert in politics. As all know he did fake injury to accommodate his keeper brother in team. God only knows abt pakistan and its cricket team future.?

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

Even though am an Indian .. i love the way the pakistanis fight .. i always support them(if they are not playing Idians :D) and would love to see them win the series :)

Posted by Mizy4u on (September 3, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

I think better drop Sohail Tanvir and give chance to Anwar Ali

Posted by ali145 on (September 3, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

i thnk its time now to drop afridi ,,,bcoz his bat is silence for long time,,,,, drop hafiz and tanvir too,,, y hafiz not understnd he came in the line as a batsman not a bowler,, bring hammad azam....if we realy want to build a strong team for wc 2015 we have to take all these steps :(

Posted by DINESHCC on (September 3, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

Afridi is fit to play. Then the match is already lost.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

i think in Today's match Pakistan should be include Shoaib Malik as an alrounder instead of Sohail Tanvir,Because he is one of the most experienced person in the team and can be use full as a middle order batsman + a strong off spinner, other change should be Afridi replacing Abdul rehman. Mean Pakistan should go with 04 regular spinners below is my xi for Toda's match 1- Nasir Jamshed 2-Kamran Akmal 3- Azhar Ali 4- Asad Shafiq 5- Misbah UL Haq 6- Umer Akmal 7- M. Hafeez 8- Shoaib Malik 9- Shahid Afridi 10-Saeed Ajmal 11-Junaid Khan. strong batting order whocan chase any score,.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Shahid Afridi is a superb all rounder if he doesnt perform well on batting then he always performs better at bowling plus he is an awesome fielder.He always supports his team no matter how bad is the condition of pakistan.Shahid afridi is a true player he always play for his country

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

@Pakilove..... Bro if IPL was the criteria to select national teams we wud have players like indians who can bat only in their own backyard!!!!!

Posted by Selassie-I on (September 3, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

Go Pakistan! Always one of my fave teams to watch and not just beacuse they're beating the Aussies..

Posted by Wallaroo on (September 3, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

Can't see Australia losing 2 in a row. Hope Doherty plays, he should have been there from the beginning. GO AUS!!!!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

Pakistan are most likely to make a couple of changes viz. Abdur Rahman and Sohail Tanveer are most probably being left out and Afridi and Anwer Ali bereplacing them. When Afridi is there , opponents are in a lots of psychological pressure,so why not be it in today's fixture.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

Toss will play major role. Afridis return will add Pak chances with more spin.

Posted by Waqas.Shazli on (September 3, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

I think Shahid afridi should come on place of Sohail tanvir...Toss will be the crucial...and Pakistan could only relay on its spin blowing...roll of Saeed Ajmal is very important....where as i appreciate Ozs they playing in very hot condition they are a good fighter as well

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

Starc will play...Afridi won't

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (September 3, 2012, 11:19 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Afridi should come in place of Rehman, and also Taveer should drop and give chance to any youngster.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

Toss is gonna be crusial alongwith how saeed ajmal plays. Pakistan will will win if one of the openers score big. InshahAllah

Posted by RaadQ on (September 3, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

Pakistan should keep the squad as it is, except replace Abdur Rehman with Afridi and replace Tanvir with Anwar Ali. For those saying Afridi doesn't deserve a spot, he took 1/31 in 10 overs, which is good enough to be picked as a spinner alone, and better than Abdur Rehman's performance. Sohail Tanvir has been a spectacular failure in the international scene, so they should give Anwar Ali a chance to make a LH/RH combination with Junaid Khan.

Posted by bouncedout on (September 3, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

Where is our fairweather friend RandyOz??

Aus outplayed in all 3 disciplines after the upset of them winning the first game.

@Jonesy2. it won't matter who bowls first as Pakistan will win the next game anyway. Aus batsmen are mediocre at best and they're still bowling Johnson!!!! He wouldn't get in the Eng/SA second 11.

More importantly, did you pair watch Eng crush the saffers for a second time recently??

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (September 3, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

Worrying times for Australia. No idea why any internation team would play Mitchy Johnson? He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right....

Posted by davidatlas999 on (September 3, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

Sohil tanveer need to b kick out.he just have thes slow ball option or 1st 2 over.if the slow balling is good then why they don't pick razzaq over him.infect younas khan also have 125kph speed.and some inswing also.don't pick this man tanveer even in pakistan A team squad he don't have anything.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Any chances of Anwar Ali playing?

Posted by whyowhy on (September 3, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

If Afridi Plays Pakistan will lose, they always play better without him.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

I think toss will be really very crucial today. The formula so far is to bat second in the series. Will be an exciting match. May the best team win tonight!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

After the Worst performance in the first tow matches I do not know any reason for including Sohail Tanveer in the team for the final Match.

Posted by adnant202009champs on (September 3, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Re: "dark_night_ranger" the bowler (afridi) who is the leading wicket taker (current odi players) and most experienced player (after tendulkar) does not know his responsibilities?strange:

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

Australia is no more like champion team now

Posted by I_Love_Pakistan on (September 3, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Pakistan 'll win this game because pakistan all players are in form and luck is also with them and circket is luck by chance.........

Posted by jonesy2 on (September 3, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

good luck to mcdermott in his debut i really hope australia get to bowl first so i can watch him bowl and also whoever bowls first wins end of story. ferguson HAS to come into the side, simple as that, probably for christian.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

I still don't understand why people want afridi to be a superman every time.

10 overs 1 for 37 in dew conditions wasn't bad performance at all. Abdur Rehman while bowling first without dew gone for 52 runs and on the top, wasn't looking threatning ! (yes he is good in test matches, and a good replacement in case of injury to any spinner in odis)

Afridi in last 4,5 years emerged as DEPENDABLE bowler! How many players in the world are dependable duo of bowling and batting?? Afridi is a bowling allrounder who if bats well, must be appreciated but if bats poorly should'nt be crticised that much. How many of us crtisize Broad, Swann,Bresnan, Rob Peterson etc when they don't bat well? because we know they r bowling allrounders! Similarly Mathews, Kallis, Bopara, A.RAZZAQ, etc are batting allrounders and never are crticises for their bowling failures if any!!

Only Flintoff, Shakib ul hasan and few others are evenly good with bat and ball and that too SELDOM! So its not a debate

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 3, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

I feel Afridi need not come at all. Rehman is a more potent spinner than Afridi against better teams and also, the batters will not have a false hope of Afridi making it up in the end overs and take the responsibility. Let Pakistan play with long tail than a ineffective all rounders. I do agree Afridi can have almost same bowling figures as Rehman but felt team still depending on Afridi the basher in the end overs and he continuously fails there.

Posted by K-ABBAS on (September 3, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

@ dark_night_ranger, i'm agree with you if pakistan has won without afridi then why do we need to change the winning combination and if they really need to change then shoaib malik is better option than him.

Posted by Hammond on (September 3, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

The Australian bowling is inconsistent and the field placings sometimes very strange. The batting is all over the place and very susceptible to Ajmal. I would actually like to see an improved Australian performance tonight but I think that is as likely as a global financial recovery.

Posted by dark_night_ranger on (September 3, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

why play afridi when we have won a match without him,,,,,this politics never can be understood that without him our team cannot be completed.a player who never understood his responsiblities after playing for more then 15 years is still a part of the team and team can never be completed without him is totally unacceptable....i wonder if afridi was an aussie, english or south african he would have never been selected for a third divison team as well.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (September 3, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Well done Brydon, you covered Australia thoroughly in your analysis, wish you had a word or two about Pakistani players too, barring Saeed Ajmal. Anyway Pakistan should replace Sohail Tanvir with Anwar Ali.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (September 3, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Afridi & Anwar Ali - IN & A.Rehman & S.Tanvir - OUT. This will be a better combination. Ideally Kamaran should not be in the team, but since there is no other W.Keeper for the time being , there appears to be no other option. I felt Sarfraz Ahmed had done nothing wrong, Kamran is clearly strugglling with the bat & gloves.

Posted by Pakilove on (September 3, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

Talha i agree with u ferguson have best record not vs pakistan in IPL Also dear.

Posted by KashifMuneer on (September 3, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

Afridi should come in place for Sohail Tanvir. Have a spin heavy attack. Use our strength. Hafeez opens the bowling so 2 weak fast bowlers become a liability and Misbah is trying to finish their overs at the wrong time.

Although Hafeez played better in the last match, Kamran Akmal is a better opener based on current form. Kamran has scored lots of runs this year opening in domestic and SL Premier League. Hafeez is struggling. It's a no brainer that Kamran should be given a chance at the top. It keeps the right-hand and left-hand combination.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 8:36 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@reddawn1975 ....absolutely crct!!!! i was shocked not to see Ferguson in Oz line-up......he has a good record against PAK so he shud b playing. @fakir_jeidi ryt btw PAk have to play their best cricket to win today n plz field well..... Cheers!!!!

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (September 3, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Good look team green. You guys gota play ur best today. I hope seemers get some wicket as well today to support spinners. I am looking forward to a tight contest.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (September 3, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

I think it's time Australia brings back Callum Ferguson please don't waste years of this guys career and make him the next Damien Martin.He is a class player and prior to hurting his knee was an excellent player for Australia bring him into the team and stop carrying players.And Warner needs to attack he loos very average trying to play spinners go hard son and take it to the bowlers or you may as well sit the games out and bring in a stable opening batsman.

Posted by Alisunich on (September 3, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Pakistan should Play Afridi in place of Rehman(if he is fit enough) and attack Ausiess. Junaid, Ajmal and Afridi with the bowl and Jamshid, Hafeez, Misbah and Akmal with the

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

I think all depends on who handle the pressure well. Australia usually does but they have an inexperienced side this time. Pakistan, you never know.

Posted by fakir_jeidi on (September 3, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

AFRIDI is back now. Pakistanis will be playing with 10 Players and 49.5 overs. 1 ball for Afridi :)

Posted by Pakilove on (September 3, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

i Think Pakistan should be rest sohail Tanvir coz he is just a T20 Bowler not ODI. so Should be rest and first chance to anwar ali.

Posted by sajjad.kernel on (September 3, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

not a good time to play in UAE. if the game result depends only on toss then dont waste the time of spectators....this series should have been played somewhere else....

Posted by Fawwad_Siddiqui on (September 3, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Bat-Lagaam has spoken my heart out....same opininion...Kamran-Nasir openners...hafeez one-down..... tanvir out anwar ali in

Posted by Mr.Blacksmith on (September 3, 2012, 7:24 GMT)

This is the right time for Pakistan to win over Australia. This will a good contest to see. Best of luck for both teams.

Posted by Biggus on (September 3, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

@getsetgopk-Attacking Ajmal will be a rather fraught enterprise, and only some of our players have the technique to attempt it with a decent chance of success. Clarke and Hussey are the two guys with the best footwork in the team and are both fine players of spin, butd it's a testament to Ajmal's stature as a bowler that he even has these guys guessing. I do agree that we must try to take some action to gain the initiative......but boy....if it's not done well it will likely end very badly. It's not all doom and gloom for us though, Starc has been threatening, and a guy that moves it around at his pace and delivers the ball from such a height represents a latent threat that Pakistan will have to deal with at some point. I'll be watching for sure, it's going to be an all nighter since the game doesn't start until 10pm my time.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

Nasir Jamshed should be played one down. he has performed on that position. K.Akmal should open the innings with Hafeez. K.Akmal can perform alot better if he opens the inng

Posted by Sinhaya on (September 3, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

I doubt if Aussies can get the better of Ajmal. Ajmal has been the best spinner in the world especially after Mike Hussey hammered him in the last T20 world cup. Amazing feature of Ajmal is that the moment you hit him for a boundary, he is determined to bowl a wicket taking ball the very next. Hope Babar Azam can also become a specialist off spinner and probably be the greatest spinning all rounder ever.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Most Probably... today is day of Saee Ajmal...and it is going to be a one sided clash.. finger crossed!

Posted by Winsome on (September 3, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

Maxwell is no more than a part-timer with the ball. I wish they would stop pushing square pegs into round holes as no-one is fooled. He's got a great eye though.

Posted by HawksEyeFocused on (September 3, 2012, 6:49 GMT)

@Kheechey Dey: Official News: Pakistan beat Australia in the 3rd ODI and thus winning the series by 2-1. Watch out Starc, the most expensive bowler and Sahibzada Shahid Khan Afridi, the man of the match for his all round performance!!! Cheers!!! The Greener is the world the better it is!!!

Posted by Bay-Lagaam on (September 3, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

I would suggest some changes here Akmal must open the inning with Nasir Jamshed and Hafeez should be at numbr 3, i saw some people are suggesting to send hafeez @ # 7, it would be completely disaster as he would not be able to perform @ numbr 7 as he has been opeining the inning for Pak from a long time, Tanvir must be dropped and Anwar Ali should be considered, Shoaib Malik must be in for Rehman, as he can bowl as well and a match winr.

Posted by Hira1 on (September 3, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

yeah please drop tanvir if Junaid played in the first match Pakistan more likely would have won that match also...any ways Tanvir can be replace with either Cheema / shoaib malik whereas Afridi is automatic replacement for Rahman

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

Sohail Tanvir Must be rested for Abdul Rehman

Posted by HawksEyeFocused on (September 3, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

I don't agree with Brydon Coverdale's this statement, "The Australians will consider attacking Ajmal more in this game, but if they continue to misread his doosra it may make little difference". I dont think it may make little difference if the Ozs batters misread his doosra. I anticipate that Ozs batters will find themselves in more horrible and deplorable condition if they attack Saeed Ajmal who is indisputably the world's best spinner.My heart says that Saeed Ajmal is going to achieve his best bowling record in today's decider match. I do agree with bro Biggus who says that if the 'Sensible Pakistan' turns up then no one can defeat them and the whole world knows this fact as they nod positively!!!

Posted by AmjadZork on (September 3, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

I'am always in favor of Afridi coming as an opener. He'll doesn't do good at No. 8. The amount of runs he scores at No. 8 would be equal to the balls he faces. But if the same amount of runs he scores while coming as an opener, he can make it with half of the balls he faces + as an opener there are more chances of him staying on the pitch for a longer period. Hafeez should be brought in at No. 8

Posted by kc69 on (September 3, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

Toss was crucial in last 2 games(Heat and dew factor) and i guess for this one(2 day LOI) it will just be sheer talent and nerves.May the best team win.

Posted by Fawwad_Siddiqui on (September 3, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Anwar ali is over-due for a chance to be given....Pathetic Sohail Tanveer performs in 1-5 series.....he has no control over the ball.....less pace....and even his fielding is poor..... anwar ali is a handy swings ball big absence of aamir and asif (I still miss the way they bowled) anwar ali should be given regular chance in the squad ....keeping in mind that the BEST SPIN ATTACK we have been bragging about will work until Ajmal doesnt retire i.e.2-4 more years....and the real strength of Pakistan was and will always been Fast Bowling .... Also...Nasir Jamshed should be given free-hand as an openner...let him stay at the spot for say 2-3 years to let him develop as an opener...just like shane watson did....he was never a natural opener...its just that aussies let him settle in the position

Posted by getsetgopk on (September 3, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

@Biggus: I suppose thats a fair point, you always wonder whats going to happen and thats one of primary reason Pakistan cricket has always been a very ineresting place to all. The Aussies should attack Ajmal because seeing his 10 overs off with 30 odd runs wont do Aus any good but on the other hand that might backfire because the Aussies have lost 7 wickts to Ajmal for 62 runs in 2 games by just defending him, how many are they gona loose if they attack him? Aus's spin problems are far deeper and its gona take Pak another spectacular collapse to loose, Pak should win this easily in my opinion.

Posted by gidmid on (September 3, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

going with only one fast bowler would be criminal.however sohail tanvir needs to be left out and anwar ali needs to be given confidence and should be in the playing eleven.afridi needs to come in place of abdur rehman.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

They should play Anwar Ali instead of Sohail Tanvir

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

I think Pakistan should play with Anwar Ali istead of Sohail and it is a deccider so it is going to be tight one and I hope for Pkistan win.Kamran and Jmashed should open with Hafeeez at no 7. And the only way to control Ajmal is to attcak and looks like Australia will do the same.. I hope for Pakistan win, INSHAHALLAH INSHALAH AFRIDI WILL PLAY 3RD MATACHI IN MATCH WINER

Posted by azmaftab on (September 3, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

Well I will be happy as long as it's a good contest and we get good cricket, which we should considering Pakistan and Australia are playing. But being a Pakistani fan I really hope and pray Pakistan wins! Pakistan Zindabad!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

Pakistan should go in with Afridi instead of Tanvir, since Aussies are already struggling with spin, 4 spinners will restrict them more.

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (September 3, 2012, 4:54 GMT)

@Tahir_Anjum and @Arsalan Khan - Agree with you both, Sohail Tanvir, there is something worrying about this guy, does not fill me with confidence when he bowls. Very annoying no-balls conceded, could have been a lot worse for Pakistan when chasing in the last match. However I would like to throw in the disadvantages of having him replaced by the two alternatives. Anwar Ali would be fine if either team had secured the series, but he requires to gain international match exposure, and the decider would be a real test of his mettle. Rehman would be 50/50 gamble on having to bowl last when dew factor can hinder the threat of spinners, however spinners for Pakistan have performed admirably bowling last in the 1st ODI despite loss. @Biggus - quite right, 'Silly' or 'Sensible' is the Jekyll & Hyde nature of this team. Pakistan fans may seem a little excitable at times, but this is because we dont know when the SELF destruct button is about to engage - that's why singles also get cheered :)

Posted by ShahbazH on (September 3, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

All the best to Jamshed & Ajmal!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

I agree with Biggus. Pakistan should ALWAYS play with 2 pacers, any team for that matter. Sohail Tanvir never was the right spearhead, he has his good days but he isn't ideal for the job. He has stopped bowling his stock ball more often which is a sign of over experimentation. And If he is to be replaced then it should only be with Anwar Ali who I personally think does deserve a go. Either way if Pakistan end up winning with Tanvir, then you could put it on the winning team combination. That is how criticism goes anyway. And for debates sake, Hafeez at No.7 is not an option, AT ALL. You don't put the best of your openers in a decade at No. 7, neither will that happen. Every one has a bad run, Hafeez will makes it count on big occasions. Lastly, Afridi will have an impact. If he gets a bunch of wickets this game, there is no way Pakistan would loose. He's a match winner. Brewing up to a great Finale!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 4:39 GMT)



Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 4:28 GMT)

It would be fun to watch the third game. My bet is on Aussies since they put their best effort in crunch time and have the never die attitude. They are the best side in the World and there is no doubt in my mind. Watch out for David Warner's blitzkrieg in the third match.

Posted by Mohsin_Ali_Khan on (September 3, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

If Afridi replaces Abdur Rehman, then the only weak link in Pakistan side remains that of Sohail Tanveer. He has conceded too many runs in this series and has not been a threat to the opposition batsmen and must be replaced with Anwar Ali. Playing four spinners does not sound a good idea as in a surprisingly seaming conditions playing only one fast bowler could backfire.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

Official News: Starc has passed his fitness test..Afridi Will not play the Final ODI as he has not recovered from back spasm yet

Posted by revolution72 on (September 3, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

keep tanvir out.. let rahman play.. open the bowling with junaid and hafiz

Posted by Nigah on (September 3, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

It is proved in 2nd game that there is no abatement of talent in Pakistani players, its something else which always deprive there spectators from win. I don't know why all commentators are disappear now who under rate Pakistani Team as they don't know that they (Pak) are sleeping Lions.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

They should give a chance to Anwar Ali instead of Sohail Tanwir.

Posted by satya1231 on (September 3, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

Simple logic here is if you win the toss ball first,whoever does that will win this series.

Posted by shafiqrao on (September 3, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

Sohail Tanvir is making no sense at all, Australians get the breather when they see him with the ball. I am for a new bowler who can bring surprise factor along with energy and commitment to make his career. Sohail is a tired horse.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

Pakistan should rest Sohail Tanvir. His bowling figures were awful during past 2 matches. He seemed to have problem with his line and length too and conceded too many runs. They should go for Abdur Rehman Instead as Pakistan has been quite relying on spinner for sometime and spin attack has been quite successful. Junaid has bowled exceptionally well so he should stay. In the final ODI, they should rest Sohail Tanveer and add extra spinner. So Hafeez, Afridi, Junaid, Rehman, Saeed Ajmal will be a great bowling line up.

Posted by Biggus on (September 3, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

I feel Pakistan should be favourites for the third game given their emphatic win in the second, but it all depends on which Pakistan team turns up for the game, 'Sensible Pakistan' or 'Silly Pakistan'. If 'Sensible Pakistan' turns up we are in strife I reckon. They have such a tremendous spin bowling attack that if their batting fires any team in the world find them a tough assignment.

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (September 3, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

I think Pakistan should play with Anwar Ali istead of Sohail and it is a deccider so it is going to be tight one and I hope for Pkistan win.Kamran and Jmashed should open with Hafeeez at no 7. And the only way to control Ajmal is to attcak and looks like Australia will do the same.. I hope for Pakistan win, INSHAHALLAH

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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