Steve Smith’s Australia is set to take on ‘home-sick’ Pakistan in the fifth and final ODI of the five-match series at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
For hosts, there is not much at stake as they have already secured the series after winning the fourth ODI by 86 runs at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.
After an impressive all-round performance in the previous match, there are not many changes expected in the final eleven, which means there will be no chance for all-rounder James Faulkner once again.
In the batting department, the team will be depending on opener David Warner and Steve Smith once again, whereas the team management will be hoping that Usman Khawaja will return to form in a dead rubber.
In the bowling department, the team will be depending on pacers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood to provide good start from the top, whereas in spin department, Smith will be hoping that leg-spinner Adam Zampa will continue his good work.
For visitors, the match is of significant importance as a win will give them a much needed rating point in the ODI ranking, which can prove vital in their bid to qualify for the ICC World Cup 2019.
The match is very important for captain Azhar Ali, whose captaincy is apparently on the line after yet another defeat in the ODI series, which is his fifth out of six he played against top eight teams in the world.
The match will also going to be of greater importance for middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, who scored just 83 runs in four innings at an average of under 29, and with a strike-rate of just over 71 while batting at number six in the order.
The team management might opt to make some changes in the final match of the tour, which means there is a possibility that left-arm pacer Rahat Ali might get a match, and so does all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz.
There is also a strong case for pacer Wahab Riaz to make a return in the final eleven on the venue where he bowled that famous spell against the same opposition during the quarter-final of the ICC World Cup 2015.
The pitch is expected to be on the slower side, but it should stay good for batting throughout which means a score in excess of 300 is highly possible, and the weather is expected to stay fine throughout the day.