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AUSTRALIA V PAKISTAN ODIS

Australia v Pakistan: All you need to know

11 January 2017

Australia begin their ODI campaign in Brisbane on Friday // Getty

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We've got you covered for Australia's five-match ODI series against Pakistan, which gets underway Friday

About the Writer:
 @martinsmith9994

Martin Smith is a writer for cricket.com.au. He previously wrote for Yahoo!7 Sport and Fox Sports.

Fixtures


January 13: First ODI, The Gabba, Brisbane

January 15: Second ODI, MCG, Melbourne

January 19: Third ODI, WACA Ground, Perth

January 22: Fourth ODI, SCG, Sydney

January 26: Fifth ODI, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide


Teams


Australia have made two massive changes for this series, axing ODI regulars Aaron Finch and George Bailey and calling up in-form Queensland duo Usman Khawaja and Chris Lynn. Uncapped Bulls quick Billy Stanlake has also been included in the squad for the first time and could make his debut on Friday given Test quick Josh Hazlewood has been rested from the opening match of the series.

Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood (resting from first match), Usman Khawaja, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

Pakistan will be led by star Test opener Azhar Ali while the likes of Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez have been added to the touring party following the Test series. Sadly, towering quick Mohammad Irfan has returned home following the death of his mother while vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed will also reportedly head back to Pakistan after his mother was rushed to a hospital in Karachi.

Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed*, Mohammad Hafeez, Junaid Khan

*will reportedly fly home for personal reasons

Babar Azam misses out on one-day century

What’s on the line?

This series is set to have big consequences for both teams beyond just these five matches themselves. For the likes of Adam Zampa, Travis Head as well as allrounders Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh, these games represent their last chance to push their case for selection on Australia's Test tour of India next month. And with so many strong performers currently on the sidelines, the Australian players are also jostling for selection ahead of the Champions Trophy in June.

For Pakistan, the need for victories is even more urgent given they are currently the eighth-ranked one-day nation in the world, three rankings points ahead of the West Indies. If they drop out of the top eight by September this year, they'll miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup and be forced to enter a 10-team qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in 2018.

In addition, a heavy series defeat for Australia would see them lose their world number one ranking. A Pakistan victory of 4-1 or 5-0 would see the Aussies relinquish top spot to South Africa, while the Aussies can extend their lead to six points if they can pull off a series whitewash.

Umar Akmal accellerates to torch CA XI

Form


Australia

Last 10 matches (most recent first): WWWLLLLLWW

Steve Smith's side responded to their historic 5-0 series defeat in South Africa last October with a series whitewash of their own against New Zealand last month. The heavy loss to the Proteas came after the Aussies triumphed 4-1 in Sri Lanka and won the tri-series in the Caribbean last June, although they lost their series in New Zealand last February.

Pakistan

Last 10 matches (most recent first): WWWWLLLLWL

Pakistan's 3-0 thrashing of the West Indies last October was their first series win over a major Test nation since July 2015. Since that win over Sri Lanka 18 months ago, they have suffered series defeats to England (twice) as well as New Zealand and have dropped to number eight in the world rankings.

Last time they met

Australia and Pakistan last played an ODI against each other during the 2015 World Cup, when the Aussies triumphed in a quarter-final showdown at the Adelaide Oval. Despite a memorable spell from Pakistan ace Wahab Riaz, the home side won by six wickets thanks to half-centuries from Steve Smith and Shane Watson. Five Australians and seven Pakistanis who played in that match won't be part of this series.

Wahab Riaz's magnificent spell

History

While Pakistan’s long search for a Test series win in Australia will continue, they have won two ODI series here (in 1996-97 and 2002) and their greatest ever cricketing achievement also came in 50-over cricket on these shores at the 1992 World Cup. However, Australia have won 15 of 19 one-day matches against Pakistan in the past decade and the tourists haven't won an ODI on Australian soil in 12 years.

Players to watch


Chris Lynn

One of the hottest batsmen in the world at the moment, Lynn's irresistible form for the Brisbane Heat is set to launch him into the ODI side for the very first time. The right-hander's incredible innings in Perth last week, where he equalled a BBL record of 11 sixes, even had his batting partner Brendon McCullum raving about the Queenslander's ability to clear the rope. And if Australia's top order sets him a decent platform in this series, there could be more fireworks to come.

Chris Lynn smashes Heat to massive win

Sharjeel Khan

The powerfully-built Pakistan opener showed a glimpse of his potential on Test debut in Sydney and tuned up for the series with a 39-ball innings of 62 against a young Cricket Australia XI on Tuesday. The left-hander will give Pakistan plenty of impetus should he get going and his best form - he hammered nine sixes in scoring 152 from just 86 balls against Ireland last year - will be sensational to watch.

Sharjeel starts strong with 62

Adam Zampa

With places up for grabs on Australia's Test tour of India, legpsinner Adam Zampa could put himself firmly in contention with some strong performances in this series. The 24-year-old told cricket.com.au this week that he believes he has the skill and attitude to succeed in India, even against the home side's imposing batting line-up. Zampa's first big test in this series is fighting his way back into Australia's best XI; he lost his spot for the final two matches against New Zealand last month and is no certain selection in this series given there's five other frontline bowlers in the squad.

Zampa puts the Renegades in a spin

Babar Azam

He had a Test series he'd rather forget, but Pakistan's Babar Azam heads into the series on the verge of breaking one of the oldest records in one-day cricket. The 22-year-old enters the first ODI on Friday needing 114 runs in two innings to become the fastest man to 1000 career runs, with the mark of 21 innings first set 37 years ago by the legendary Viv Richards and shared by Quinton de Kock, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott still the target to beat.

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