Australia vs Pakistan: Can Bismah Maroof's side cause the ultimate upset?

Akash Ghosh
07 Mar 2022
Australia vs Pakistan: Can Bismah Maroof's side cause the ultimate upset?

Australia vs Pakistan © Getty Images

After losing their opening match against India by a huge margin of 107 runs, Pakistan are all set to face Australia, who have started their campaign as everyone would have expected, with a win over England. Now, these two sides will meet each other in match no. 6 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2022 at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday, March 8.

What’s at stake? 

Australia will start this game as the favorites, like they do in most clashes these days. They are obviously coming into this mega-event with a win-loss ratio of 15.5:1 since the last World Cup. On the other hand, Pakistan has seen some development over the past few years, but there are larger issues within their side which still prevail. 

In their first game, Pakistan had India at 114 for 6 at one stage. They were just a wicket away from making the situation go from bad to absolute worse for their opposition. However, they let their advantage slip through by allowing a seventh-wicket stand of 122 runs. With the bat, they were obviously playing a different sport than what one expects ODI cricket to be in 2022.

Despite their lack of power with the bat, the India game was provided more evidence of the fact that Pakistan are a very capable side when it comes to bowling. They could look at their decision to go with only five bowlers in the previous match. Having said that, their best chance against Australia will be through bowling, if they can decimate the batting unit, which almost has all bases covered. 

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Speaking of which, Australia went up against England, who possibly have one of the better bowling units in this tournament on a surface in Hamilton which seemed to get better with time. The outstanding batting display by Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning ensured that they were able to build a solid foundation while the conditions didn’t favour them. But once batting got a little easy and England’s bowling got a little complacent, they were able to make up for it. 

What might be a worrying sign for Australia is their bowling. Despite managing to keep England away from their total by 12 runs, head coach Matthew Mott’s ruthless approach might see them looking back and questioning a few tactics which eventually took the game down to the wire, when it ideally shouldn’t have, once England had half their side back in the sheds. However, one also has to take into consideration the brilliant knock that Natalie Sciver played. 

That being said, Australia should look at this match with a little caution as Pakistan’s bowling might be able to extract something from the Bay Oval which already seems to be dying slowly. Pakistan, on the other hand, must look at this as an opportunity to progress and make a statement, which may define their campaign. 

What they said: 

“I think we were only 101 off the first 25 overs. So to get 210 off the last 25 was pretty remarkable and you know we spoke at length coming into this tournament that perhaps we hadn't fired as well as we would have liked in the last couple of years, and to make that kind of statement early in this tournament was really impressive. And hopefully it's a sign of what's to come for this batting unit.”

  • Beth Mooney on getting a big score in their first match. 

“Going up against the best out of the teams of course and we know that Australia is a very big, very good side. I mean it is a strong side but the thing is, we have to come stronger against them and the thing is - what we have planned for us - we should execute them well.”

  • Nida Dar on going up against Australia

Players to watch out: 

Alyssa Healy: The Australia wicketkeeper has been under some pressure in the last few months. Her form hasn’t been that good, but being a big match player and one of the core members, she is someone who will continue to be backed by the team management. And rightly so. In the past, she has shown that she has the great ability to bounce back. The 2020 T20 World Cup is a good example of that. She should fancy herself getting a good score against Pakistan. 

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Nashra Sandhu: The left-arm spinner had a good day with the ball against India. She bowled ten overs for 36 runs and took two wickets in the process. Her lines were consistent and she could be important if Pakistan wants to get a few good wickets in the middle overs against a tough batting unit.  


Head to head: Played 12, Australia 12-0 Pakistan

  • Lisa Keightley holds the record for the highest individual score in Australia vs Pakistan ODI matches, with her 156* in the first-ever match between the two teams way back in 1997. 

  • Former Pakistan cricketer Sana Mir has taken the most wickets in Australia vs Pakistan ODIs, with 20 scalps to her name in 10 matches at an average of 18.55. 

Predicted XI: 

Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown

Pakistan: Javeria Khan, Sidra Ameen, Bismah Maroof (c), Omaima Sohail, Nida Dar, Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Diana Baig, Nashra Sandhu, Anam Amin