Australia are set to take on Pakistan in a six-match series which will take place in Malaysia. The series features three ODI’s and three Twenty-20’s. While the ODI’s are important as they offer points for the ICC Women’s Championship, the Twenty-20’s are imperative as preparation for the upcoming World Twenty-20.
For Australia, their openers Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney (Nicole Bolton in ODIs) will play a huge role. The two will look to get their team off to a flying start in the powerplay, which the other batters can build on. With the ball in hand, Megan Schutt, arguably the best bowler going around in Twenty-20 cricket will play a vital role. She bowls economically and takes wickets at crucial points to swing the game in her side’s favour.
As for Pakistan, contributions from Javeria Khan and Nahida Khan with the bat will be the key to their success. These two are the only batters in form after their tour of Bangladesh, where the rest of the batters put in an underwhelming performance. Especially with Bismah Maroof sitting out the tour, senior members will need to step up. In the bowling department, Pakistan’s strength lies in their spinners. Experienced campaigners Sana Mir, Anam Amin and Nida Dar will be expected to bowl economically and take the necessary wickets.
Point of Contention
Pakistan is an opposition Australia has not seen much of. The Australian coach himself admitted that Pakistan is a team his side has not seen much of but, this series gives both sides an opportunity to get familiar with each other before they face each other again in the World Twenty-20.
This unfamiliarity poses an interesting point of contention between the two. Pakistan is predominantly a bowling side, with some of the best spin bowlers going around. Australia boasts a daunting batting attack that sees the number one ranked ODI batter coming in at Number five. The battle between the two strengths will no doubt be an exciting one.
In the ODI series, points for the ICC Women’s Championship will be up for grabs. These points are vital for a team earning direct qualification to the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand. Australia sit at the top of the table, while Pakistan are placed fourth. Both teams will benefit greatly from these points.
Australia recently emerged as the Number one Twenty-20 team in ICC’s newly launched Global Twenty-20 Rankings. To maintain that place, they need to win all three of the Twenty-20’s against Pakistan, which they will be hoping to do. With the Twenty-20 World Cup also looming, this series is the last opportunity for both sides to fine-tune their squad and iron out their shortcomings. Both teams will be hoping to gain some momentum ahead of the tournament.
PAKISTAN: Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Javeria Khan (c), Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sana Mir, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz
AUSTRALIA: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (WK), Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness, only T20Is), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham