In a repeat of the 2010 edition, Pakistan and Australia are set to meet each other once again in the semi-final of a T20 World Cup. The two teams will lock horns in the second semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Pakistan have been in the rollicking form and emerged as a strong contender to lift the World Cup. The 2009 champions are the only unbeaten side remaining in the tournament. On their way to the semi-final, Pakistan beat India, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland.
Given their recent struggles, Australia were not expected to reach the knock-out stage of the World Cup, but ended up proving their doubters wrong. An ever-improving Australian side began their T20 World Cup campaign with a win against South Africa. Australia then defeated Sri Lanka but were later drubbed by old rivals England. The defeat, however, did not dampen the spirits as the team bounced back to register wins against Bangladesh and West Indies to qualify for the semi-final.
Pakistan are looking to repeat the heroics of 2009, when the team claimed their first World T20 title. Australia, on the other hand, are in search of their maiden T20 World Cup triumph.
Pakistan remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament. Also, five different Pakistan players have won the Player of the Match awards in Pakistan’s five wins so far in this tournament. These players are Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Asif Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik. Five different Player of the Match winners highlights that Pakistan have plenty of match-winners in the team and are not relying on one player to deliver success. The team’s momentum and in-form players are Pakistan’s biggest allies heading into the semi-final.
Pakistan remain a well-rounded side with most of the players in form. There is no weak link in that could concern the team at the moment.
The form of David Warner and Adam Zampa will inspire Australia. Warner was struggling for form but has bounced back in style, scoring 187 runs at an average of 46.75 including two fifties. Zampa is the tournament’s second-highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps and has picked the only 5-wicket haul of this World Cup. Zampa has been awarded two Player of the Match awards in Australia’s wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The Aussies' chances to win the match depend on how well these two perform in the semi-final.
Aaron Finch will be concerned with the form of middle-order batter Glenn Maxwell. Heading into the T20 World Cup, Maxwell had a good IPL 2021 season, but his form has evaporated in this tournament. Maxwell’s score in the past five outings read as follows: 0, 0, 6, 5 and 18. Australia’s top order isn’t churning out runs consistently as well. So Maxwell’s lean spell becomes all the more worrisome for the team.
Matches played: 23
Pakistan wins: 13
Australia wins: 9
No Result: 1
Pitch and conditions
11 T20 World Cup matches have been played at this venue. Of those 11 matches, 10 have been won by the team batting second. The only aberration was New Zealand’s 16-run win over Scotland. So, the pitches at Dubai favour the chasing side. The pitch could be a high-scoring one.
The evening will be clear. The temperature will be around 26 degrees Celsius. The humidity level will be 45 per cent.
Neither team is struggling with injury issues.
Deccan Herald’s Dream XI
Babar Azam (c), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc
Impact player for Australia
Adam Zampa: Aussie leg spinner Adam Zampa is the team’s leading wicket-taker for this World Cup with 11 wickets to his name. Zampa has averaged just 9.90 and bowled at an economy of 5.73. The spinner also has the only 5-wicket haul of this World Cup. If Zampa has a good outing, then Australia will be able to restrict Pakistan’s attacking batting line-up.
Impact player for Pakistan
Babar Azam: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has scored runs at will in this tournament. With 264 runs, Babar Azam finds himself at the top of the-run scoring chart of this tournament. Babar has scored fifties in four of the five matches that Pakistan has played so far. With four fifties, Babar has drawn level with Matthew Hayden and Virat Kohli as the batter with most fifties in a single edition of a T20 World Cup. If Babar gets going, then he would be a big nuisance for Australian bowlers.
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