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Pakistan likely to make two changes for third Australia T20I

Final decision on the team’s line-up is expected to be made on Thursday

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s national side arrived in Perth on Wednesday after enduring a seven-wicket defeat against Australia in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

Pakistan’s team management has begun the process of analysing the shortcomings of the side and are likely to make two changes for the third and final T20I against Australia in Perth.

Struggling opening batsman Fakhar Zaman is likely to be replaced by fellow opener Imamul Haq while middle-order batsman Asif Ali could be replaced by hard-hitting batsman Khushdil Shah.

 

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Both Zaman and Ali have failed to justify their place in the T20I side, with the left-hander scoring only 110 runs at a miserable average of 9 runs in his last 12 T20I innings, whereas the latter has accumulated just 331 runs at an average of 18 in 25 T20Is.

A final decision on the team’s line-up is expected to be made after the practise session on Thursday.

Pakistan’s recent string of miserable performances has irked the current head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq. The number-one ranked T20I side that had won 11 consecutive series has now gone five matches without victory during Misbah’s tenure.

The Men in Green now have a chance to win the third T20I against Australia and level the series. Drawing a series of this magnitude would be a big moment for the new captain Babar Azam, who has been in prolific form in the series so far, scoring consecutive half-centuries in the first two encounters.

Meanwhile, Australia's fast-bowler Pat Cummins will be rested for the third T20I against Pakistan. The pacer has been rested to prepare for the upcoming Test series against the Men in Green. Fast-bowler Sean Abbott is likely to get a chance in the place of Cummins.

“It’s a little bit of recovery and preparing for the Test match,” said the Australian head coach Justin Langer. “We’ve got so much cricket on and he plays a lot of it so we’ve got the opportunity for him not to take the long flight to Perth. In the past we have used these opportunities to rest some of those guys.”

The series wraps up in Perth on Friday before the sides face each other in two Tests.

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