Pakistan v Australia, Twenty20 International, Dubai May 6, 2009

Haddin steps up for final fling before England

Cricinfo staff

Match facts

May 7, 2009
Start time 8pm (16.00GMT)

Big Picture

After the end of a draining one-day series, which Australia won 3-2, the teams sign off with a Twenty20 in Dubai. Time is running out for the sides ahead of the World Twenty20 in June and both outfits remain in heavy testing.

Australia have a new captain in Brad Haddin, the wicketkeeper, who takes over after Michael Clarke left following Sunday's loss to gain a few extra days of rest. Ricky Ponting is also at home, but will rejoin his men in England along with Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson.

Haddin led his country for the first time in January, when Australia beat New Zealand in Sydney, and the title shows his growing importance in the set-up. His opposite number is Younis Khan, who remains wary of the Australians in all forms of the game.

Form guide (last five Twenty20s, most recent first)

Pakistan LWWWW
Australia LLWWW

Watch out for

Brad Haddin looked in great touch in the final one-dayer before becoming too adventurous against Shoaib Akhtar and the added responsibility of being captain may lift him to a more substantial score. In the five ODIs he collected a disappointing 110 runs and will want a strong farewell to the campaign.

Misbah-ul-Haq is Pakistan's leading run-scorer in Twenty20 with 398 in 14 games and his strike-rate is an impressive 127. He averaged 53.66 during the ODI series and if he fires Pakistan could end the series with back-to-back wins.

Team news

For the first time this year Australia should have Brett Lee in the team. Lee had foot and ankle surgery after the Boxing Day Test and will have a run in this contest before a short IPL stint and the World Twenty20. Shane Watson, one of the standouts from the ODI series, may also bowl for the first time since he was floored by back stress fractures in December.

Australia squad Brad Haddin (capt, wk), Doug Bollinger, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Callum Ferguson, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, David Hussey, Ben Laughlin, Brett Lee, Marcus North, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson.

Iftikhar Anjum missed the 15 for the World Twenty20 so it is unlikely he will have a chance to play in Dubai, leaving 13 players pushing for a game. Shoaib Akhtar held his place after the one-day series with a view to providing explosive short spells in England next month.

Pakistan squad Younis Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Iftikhar Anjum.

Pitch and conditions

This is the first Twenty20 at Dubai Sports City and the only two internationals held at the ground were the ones that opened the ODI series. The highest total in four innings was 208, so a big Twenty20 score appears unlikely. A top of 38C and a low of 28C is predicted for Thursday.

Stats and Trivia

  • This is the second Twenty20 between Australia and Pakistan, with Pakistan winning the opening encounter during the World Cup in 2007
  • In 16 Twenty20s Pakistan have lost only three
  • Australia have had 20 of these contests since 2005 and won 11

Quotes

"The result probably isn't one that will be the be all and end all, but it will be what we actually take out of it."
Nathan Bracken

"We have to be at our best to win this match because Australia are dangerous in all forms of the game."
Younis Khan