Mohali: Pakistan faces ODI world champion Australia in a crucial encounter at Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in Mohali. So far in the tournament Pakistan has played three games, but tasted success only once. At present, Pakistan’s run rate is better than both India and Australia. Pakistan would need to win today’s match with a big margin, and then expect Australia to beat India on 27th March, in order to move ahead of India and Australia on the basis of better run-rate. However, an Australian win over Pakistan would mean an end of road for Pakistan in the tournament. Australia’s victory in today’s match will make India-Australia encounter a virtual quarter final.
Both Pakistan and Australia are not playing good cricket. In T20 cricket, Australia had a mixed bag of results off late. Australia lost to India at home, gained some form against Proteas in South Africa, but again lost to West Indies in the tournament’s warm-up match in Kolkata. In the preliminary stage of the tournament, they have played two matches winning one against Bangladesh while losing the other against New Zealand. The team does not look confident and is neither in the best shape. The team members are still trying to find the right tempo for the T20 tournament.
Pakistan has also not clicked together as a unit. Never throughout the tournament have they looked threatening and potent enough to win the tournament. On crucial moments, Pakistan has not been able to capitalise and has given away chances to the opponents. Stories of group-ism and duel between Shahid Afridi and PCB have also not helped the team.
The pitch is expected to become slow later in the innings, but will not offer much turn. The big outfield of PCA stadium will test Pakistan’s fielding capabilities. While both the teams have got talent, the odds are in favour of Australia in this game. The game will test the cricketing skills and mental toughness of both Australia and Pakistan.