AUS vs. PAK - Third ODI
MATCH UP STATS
AUS vs. PAK - Third ODI
One Day International formAustralia: W W W W LPakistan: W W W L W
Top batsman picksAustralia: David Warner - $3.75 at SportsbetPakistan: Babar Azam - $5.50 at Bet365
Top bowlers tipsAustralia: Pat Cummins - $4.75 at Bet365Pakistan: Mohammad Amir - $3.75 at Sportsbet
THE Australian selectors have rung the changes after a less than convincing start to the One Day International series against Pakistan.
They didn’t have much choice in the case of Chris Lynn, who missed the defeat at the MCG with a neck injury.
His spot will be taken by Peter Handscomb, even though the burgeoning Test star failed to make any impact in his two recent Big Bash hits.
Strike bowler Mitchell Starc is scheduled for a rest, which will give Billy Stanlake another chance after an interrupted ODI debut at Brisbane.
The other significant absentee is Mitchell Marsh, who pulled up with a sore shoulder after the loss in Melbourne.
Chief selector Trevor Hohns admitted the decision to withdraw the West Australian allrounder was made with one eye on the upcoming Test tour of India.
“Mitchell has had a very big six months and played a significant amount of cricket,” he told reporters this week.
“We needed to find an opportunity to give him a break and with his schedule in the comings months we believe now is the appropriate time to give him a match off.”
Victoria and Melbourne Stars allrounder Marcus Stoinis will join the squad as cover.
The visitors have endured a few availability issues of their own this summer.
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali injured his hamstring at the Gabba and remains unlikely to feature at the WACA.
“Azhar is better than before but he is still not completely fit,” said Wasim Bari, the Pakistan team manager.
“We are working on his rehabilitation and he will not take part in the third match, but there is a chance that he might be fit for the last two matches of the series.”
Having missed the Brisbane clash through illness, Shoaib Malik returned to play a pivotal part with bat and ball in the second ODI.
Bari confirmed that the veteran allrounder had received the all clear after undergoing blood tests for a virus.
“Shoaib was down with a viral infection which is why he could not take part in the first ODI,” he said.
“He is fine now, and his blood reports were also fine.”
The win in Melbourne was Pakistan’s first in Australia since 2005.
Bari credited the upswing in the touring side’s form to the presence of one-day specialists such as Malik, Umar Akmal and Imad Wasim.
“I believe the team’s performance improved after the inclusion of fresh players who are specialist in the ODI format,” he said.
“All the players are ready to go and fight for a win in the third ODI.”
Peter Handscomb betting specials
The Australian side is crying out for a specialist batsman who can play spin and build an innings.
Handscomb could be just the ticket.
He may not have fired in his two starts for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, but his form in Test cricket is impossible to ignore.
His last innings in the 3-0 series win over Pakistan was a blistering 40 not out off 25 balls at the SCG.
Quite how he was overlooked for the initial ODI squad after that knock – not to mention his century in the first dig – is anyone’s guess.
A feature of Handscomb’s batting is his ability to nullify good spin bowling with quick footwork and sound shot selection.
That kind of class was sorely missing last Sunday in the dismissals of Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade and even Steve Smith.
Furthermore, the Victorian’s signature back-foot play to the quicks could reap some serious rewards on what is one of the fastest WACA wickets we’ve seen in recent times.
He might not get a chance if David Warner does he what he usually does in Perth and ends the game inside 15 overs.
But if the top three fail to fire again, Handscomb offers great value due to the uncertainty over whether he will bat at four, five, or even six.
Top match batsman – $13 at Sportsbet
Top Australia batsman – $8 at Bet365
To score 100 – $8 at Sportsbet
Most runs vs. Head and Babar – $2.70 at CrownBet
To score 50 – $2.50 at Sportsbet
Australia vs. Pakistan match tips
If the Perth pitch plays anything like it has in recent Big Bash games, we could be in for a real treat.
Even with Starc out, the bounce and pace of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and big Billy Stanlake could cause all sorts of problems.
And if they fluff their lines, the notoriously slippery WACA outfield will ensure they cop full punishment.
Either way, it will be a nice change of scene for an Aussie side that looked ill at ease on grippy, two-paced wickets at the Gabba and the MCG.
It will be interesting to see how the Pakistanis cope with classical WA conditions.
Batsmen from the subcontinent typically aren’t all that fond of fast, firm wickets, while touring quicks often get carried away and bowl too far back of a length.
One also suspects the subtle spin of Hafeez, Imad and Shoaib won’t have quite the same effect as it did in Brisbane and Melbourne.
The long-odds value is all with Pakistan, but Australia is the sensible bet.
Match result – Australia ($1.29 at William Hill)
Result/top team batsman – Australia/Peter Handscomb ($9 at Sportsbet)
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