RESULT
Only T20I (N), Lahore, April 05, 2022, Australia tour of Pakistan
(19.1/20 ov, T:163) 163/7

Australia won by 3 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)

Preview

Australia look for a way to stop Babar Azam in tour-ending T20I

The visitors will field a very different side from when the teams last met while Pakistan may be able to welcome back Shadab Khan

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
04-Apr-2022
Babar Azam cracks the ball over backward point, Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd ODI, Lahore, March 31, 2022

Will Babar Azam sign off with another white-ball masterclass?  •  AFP/Getty Images

Big picture

A one-off T20I at the end of the tour does not come with a huge amount of context, but if the last two ODIs are anything to go by, the atmosphere in Lahore should at least be terrific with the game starting after the heat of the day has passed.
What either team can take from the match is debatable, but it's another game on the road to the next men's T20 World Cup later this year in Australia. This contest brings together two of the semi-finalists from last year's event where Australia prevailed in a thrilling finish with Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis taking them to victory. It will be a very different looking Australia side for this game, though, with only three players from that semi-final - Stoinis, Aaron Finch and Adam Zampa - set to take the field with the rest absent for a variety of seasons.
It's a meeting of two in-form T20I sides: Australia have won ten of their last 12 matches [one after a Super Over against Sri Lanka] and Pakistan 11 of their last 12 - the only defeat being their T20 World Cup semi-final exit.

Recent form

(last five matches, most recent first)
Pakistan WWWWW
Australia LWWWW

In the spotlight

Can Babar Azam cap his personal tour de force with one more captain's innings? A Test-saving masterclass was followed by two wonderful chasing centuries to take the one-day series and he is the No. 1-ranked T20I batter - his opener partner Mohammad Rizwan is ranked No. 2 in what is a formidable pairing.
Adam Zampa is one of the premier T20 spinners in the world. After taking four wickets in the opening ODI, Pakistan's top order played him well in their two successful run chases and, in what will be an inexperienced Australia attack, his four overs could be key to the outcome.

Team news

Pakistan have a 17-player squad for this game, which seems a touch excessive, but at least gives them options. Shadab Khan may be available after injury kept him out of the ODI series. Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir could also be considered.
Pakistan (possible) 1 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 2 Babar Azam (capt), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4, Asif Ali, 5 Iftikhar Ahmed, 6 Haider Ali, 7 Khushdil Shah, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Mohammad Wasim, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10 Haris Rauf
Josh Inglis and Ashton Agar have tested negative for Covid-19 following their recent isolation periods and were due to train on Monday. If they are assessed as being available for selection it would be a boost to a squad stripped of a lot of experience. Inglis was impressive in his debut series against Sri Lanka. Cameron Green and Marnus Labuschagne could make their T20I debuts and Travis Head could play his first match in the format since 2018.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Travis Head, 3 Ben McDermott, 4 Josh Inglis/Alex Carey (wk), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Cameron Green, 7 Sean Abbott, 8 Ashton Agar/Mitchell Swepson, 9 Nathan Ellis, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Jason Behrendorff

Pitch and conditions

Although Australia's batting struggled in the deciding ODI, this has the makings of a high-scoring match. The ball should come on nicely under the lights.

Stats and trivia

  • Babar and Rizwan have an average partnership of 56.65 in T20Is - the third highest of any pairing with a minimum 20 innings. Australia's highest is 36.66 between Finch and David Warner.
  • Three of Finch's last four innings against Pakistan have been ducks.
  • Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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