T20 World Cup, Pakistan vs Australia, Semifinal 2: 6 players to watch the fight cricket news

Pakistan will face Australia in the second semi-final of the ongoing T20 World Cup on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium. Both the sides will aim for a place in the final with a win. Pakistan have been in excellent form in the current tournament and remained unbeaten during the Super 12 stage. The Babar Azam-led side thrashed India and New Zealand with ease and will look to continue their winning form against the Aussies. Meanwhile, Australia suffered a heavy defeat against England but won their remaining games.

Also, Australia have never won a T20 World Cup title and will be hoping to change that against Pakistan, which won the competition in 2009.

Here are six player battles that could have an impact on the match:

Babar Azam (Pakistan) vs Mitchell Starc (Australia)

The Pakistan captain is the second highest run-scorer in the current tournament with 264 runs in five matches, including four fifties. Babar has scored 278 runs in six T20 Internationals against Australia at an average of 69.50. The opener faced Starc in three T20I innings and scored 29 runs in 21 balls. Starc has also dismissed the batsman once. In this year’s T20 World Cup, Starc has taken seven wickets and will be crucial for his team in the opening overs.

Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan) vs Pat Cummins (Australia)

The wicketkeeper-batsman has been the anchor of his side during this tournament and has scored 214 runs in five matches. Against Cummins, Rizwan will be up against a bowler who has been economical in this year’s T20 World Cup but is yet to take a wicket. The two have faced each other in two T20I innings, with Rizwan scoring seven runs off 12 balls against Cummins. The pacer is yet to get the opener out.

Shoaib Malik (Pakistan) vs Adam Zampa (Australia)

Shoaib Malik was in great form during his team’s recent win against Scotland. The veteran played an unbeaten knock of 54 runs in just 18 balls to help his team win by 72 runs. Australian spinner Zampa will be tasked with removing Malik and stopping him from getting comfortable at the crease. The two have faced each other in three innings and Malik hasn’t lost his wicket.

Aaron Finch (Australia) vs Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

The Australia captain has been in good form in the tournament and has scored 130 runs in five matches. He is only four runs away from breaking his own record for most runs (457 in 2018) as an Australian captain in T20Is in a calendar year. Meanwhile, Shaheen is Pakistan’s fast bowler in the current tournament and has taken six wickets. The bowler has faced Finch in two T20I innings and got him out once. He will be tasked with breaking Australia’s opening partnership in the game.

David Warner (Australia) vs Haris Rauf (Pakistan)

Warner has finally found his form in the ongoing tournament and is currently the eighth highest run-scorer. He has scored 187 runs in five matches and is also Australia’s highest run-scorer. In this match, he will face Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker against Rauf. The fast bowler has taken eight wickets and has also been a death overs specialist for his team. He will also be used for one or two overs in the opening round of Australia’s innings.

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Glenn Maxwell/Mitchell Marsh (Australia) vs Shadab Khan (Pakistan)

Maxwell and Marsh are Australia’s best batsmen after dismissing players like Finch, Warner and Smith. Both are experts in this format of the game. Pakistan’s Shadab Khan will be tasked with removing these two and he already has a good record against both. Shadab has faced Maxwell in three innings and has already dismissed him twice. He has also faced Marsh in two T20I innings and got him out twice.

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