Fourth ODI: Pakistan to play for pride against clinical Aussies

Visitors have already bagged the series by winning the first three encounters

Fourth ODI: Pakistan to play for pride against clinical Aussies PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan will face Australia in the fourth one-day international (ODI), at the Dubai International Stadium, in a bid to register their first win of the five-match series.

The visitors have ruled the roost in the first three matches and thereby winning the series in comprehensive fashion.

The Men in Green will be looking for an improved show in the fourth ODI as they look to reclaim some of their lost pride.

Pakistan in focus

Pakistan lost the toss in the third ODI and were asked to bowl first, after stand-in captain Malik had called correctly in the previous two encounters, but they still suffered a similar fate in terms of outcome of the match.

The home side had the opportunity to restrict Aussies to a low total but some lacklustre bowling and sloppy fielding helped visitors post a competitive total, 266-6, on the board.

Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Malik rued lack of missed opportunities. 

“If you give couple of chances to a good batsman, then expect to chase something big,” said Malik. “Getting opportunities and grabbing them is the key of the game.”

Malik also stressed on taking the game deep when chasing a total in excess of 250.

"The total was in our hands, but when you're playing in Abu Dhabi it's always tough, anything over 250," he said. "Keeping wickets and going deep in the game, that's where you create the chance, but we couldn't do that.”

Pakistan rested core of their squad, including captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, in order to test their bench strength and give their regular players rest ahead of the all-important 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

“We are trying to give all the players chances so selection committee and team management have a better picture in front of them,” he said.

Despite losing the series Malik insisted that every match was important by stating: “Every game is important. We have two more opportunities. If we win two games, we have something in our pocket."

Pakistan are likely to hand opener Abid Ali his ODI debut, in place of the misfiring Shan Masood at the top of the order. Meanwhile young fast-bowler Mohammad Hasnain could make way for veteran pacer Mohammad Amir.

Australia in focus

Australia have not put a foot wrong during the ongoing series and they would be looking to continue the same, during the fourth ODI on Friday.

Hard-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell, who was the star of the Aussie batting show in the third ODI as he scored 71 runs off just 55 balls, was glad to see his side peak at the right moment.

“We're peaking at the right time. We've been really focused about what we want to do here. We want to build on this momentum,” said Maxwell after the conclusion of third ODI.  

Incoming pacer Pat Cummins rocked Pakistan’s top-order with three quick wickets, which helped him win the player of the match award, was glad to be a part of the side after some much-needed rest.

"It felt alright, thanks to management and Finchy they gave me a couple of games off, and it was nice to come back today fresh. Fresh legs helps [in the field too]," said Cummins.

Aussie captain Aaron Finch, who has been in red-hot form with the bat, was happy with the side’s rich vein of form — which has seen them win against, both, India and Pakistan away from home.   

"We've played some consistent cricket," said Finch. "We've been building up and doing the basics well. Any time you can beat India and Pakistan in their home conditions is good. We're playing spin a lot better than we have in the past.”

Pacer Kane Richardson is likely to get the nod ahead of off-spinner Nathon Lyon, for the fourth ODI.

Probable lineups

Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff

Pakistan: Abid Ali, Imamul Haq, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik (capt), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir