Australia has had a good year in 2019 where they have done well in all the three formats. After doing well in the World Cup 2019 in England they went on to retain the Ashes as well. Furthermore, they beat India 2-0 in a T20I series at their own home. Hence, Australia will be confident of doing well in their long home season too.
Australia will be facing Pakistan at home for a 3-match T20I series, the first match of which will commence from November 3 at Sydney. In the last 5 T20Is between the two sides, Australia has lost all the games. Hence, one would think that Pakistan would have the advantage going into this match and series. But things have changed now. Australia are playing at home and Pakistan is coming off an embarrassing 0-3 drubbing in a T20I series at home by a second-string Sri Lanka side.
Led by the aggressive opener Aaron Finch, Australia has a superb batting outfit. Finch will do the damage at the top. And then the likes of Glen Maxwell, Alex Carey and Steve Smith will take care of the middle-order.
In the bowling department too, Australia has great strength. Pat Cummins has been the most successful bowler across formats in the last two years and would certainly be taking the lead in the seam bowling department. Then there is Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake who should be offering able support. Another weapon Australia has is leg-spinner Adam Zampa who has been in excellent form.
Meanwhile, Pakistan will have a new captain in the series as Sarfaraz Ahmed has been sacked and Babar Azam has been appointed as the leader of the T20I side. This might be a good step for Pakistan as Babar can lead from the front in the batting department. He would hope to get contributions from Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail and all-rounder Imad Wasim.
Pakistan’s bowling has always been its strength. Pacer Mohammad Amir has been in great form this year and would enjoy bowling on the Sydney pitch with its bounce. Wahab Riaz too would come of use on this pitch and may cause troubles to the Australian batting. Imad Wasim’s left-arm spin will help in restricting the batsmen.
Match prediction- Australia vs Pakistan, 1st T20I:
The Sydney Cricket Ground- the venue for the 1st T20I between Australia and Pakistan – is generally a good batting surface. The highest total achieved here has been the massive 221-5 by Australia against England in 2007.
The pitch is good for batting first but will remain true throughout. The seam bowlers will have a say and spinners would have to bowl tight channels. The average batting score in the 1st innings at Sydney is 164 and in the second innings the average batting score is 149. The team batting first in this game should get a total of close to 180. And the combined total should be in the range of 330-350.
While Pakistan has enjoyed a terrific record over Australia in T20Is, they have slipped in recent times in the format. Moreover, Australia is playing at home, have a superb all-round unit and are in good form. Australia should hence be the winners of this contest.