Azhar Ali-led Pakistan is set to face Steven Smith’s Australia in the first ODI of the five-match series at The Gabba, Brisbane on Friday.
The visitors are in real need of an improved show for two reasons; first they whitewashed by a really young Australian lineup in the Test series, and second because they are in serious danger of missing out on an automatic qualification for the ICC World Cup 2019.However, the Men in Green have already suffered a serious blow in their surge for a better results in the upcoming series as both wicketkeeper batsman vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed tall pacer Mohammad Irfan have already left home due to personal reasons.
The news meant that there is a serious case of middle-order batsman Umar Akmal to make a comeback in the ODI team after not having represented the national side in the one-day format since ICC World Cup 2015 quarter-final.There is also a possibility of veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez to be included in place of young Mohammad Nawaz, which means young Babar Azam, who scored a stunning 98 in the practice match will be pushed down the order to bat at number four.The team management will also have to make crucial call of selecting two out of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan, who will be joined by young impressive Hasan Ali.
For hosts, things turned dramatically in the Test series after they suffered an embarrassing defeat against South Africa in the series before.However, the selectors have made a host of changes in the squad for the five-match series, which means there will be more fire-power on show from the Kangaroos.
With no George Bailey around means a chance finally for hard-hitting Glenn Maxwell to make a comeback in the ODI team, whereas both fast-bowling all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and James Faulkner will feature together in the playing eleven.The team will be heavily depending on captain Smith and opener David Warner to provide big runs for the hosts, whereas there will also going to be expectations from newly inducted home boy Chris Lynn to show what he is capable of after being selected on the back of more than impressive shows in the ongoing Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat.Alongside Lynn, tall pacer Billy Stanlake will also going to debut for Australia in the first match of the series.
The pitch is expected to produce a lot of runs, but there is also going to be some assistance for the pacer. The weather is expected to stay hot and fine throughout the day.