The Pakistan team is coming off a demoralising loss,while Australia is fresh from a thumping win
Pakistan will try to get its campaign back on track in the ICC Women's World Twenty 2012 in Galle on Saturday (September 29), after a demoralising defeat against England. In its path however, is Australia, the defending champion, fresh from a crushing eight-wicket win over India on Thursday.
Pakistan, who came into the ICC Women's World Twenty 2012 on the back of a fine victory in the tri-series in Ireland, will have to improve its batting several-fold in order to pose a serious challenge. Having said that, its fielding was also off-colour in the game against England. The team management has a lot to worry about in terms of the combination too, given that a loss against Australia could see Pakistan eliminated from the tournament even before its last group game.
Although Pakistan’s loss against England was comprehensive, the team did have its moments, especially on the field, when six England wickets fell for 31 runs.
"It was a commendable effort by our bowlers to come back after the explosive start they got," said Sana Mir, the Pakistan captain."I think the bowlers showed the character of this side. If the batters get into their groove, we will be a dangerous side."
Crucial to Pakistan’s chances will be the form of Javeria Khan and Nain Abidi, arguably the best batters in the team, who will be expected to steer the middle order. Given the conditions in Galle, which has tended to slow down as the game progresses, the spinners will play an important role, none more than Mir, who picked up two wickets against England and stifled the flow of runs at the same time.
For its part, Australia routed India with precision. After restricting India to 104, the intent it showed during the run-chase sent out a strong message that it means business. "We want to be ruthless in our approach," said Jodie Fields, the Australia captain. "There is no real pressure of being the defending champions. It is a title we enjoy, but we're not underestimating Pakistan."
Australia must be pleased with the form of its spinners – Lisa Sthalekar and Erin Osborne – who picked up four wickets between themselves. In Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy, it has an opening pair that is capable of destroying any attack. With a solid and experienced middle order, Australia is considered by many as the best side in terms of balance.
Although Fields was non-committal about the playing eleven, Australia has no reason to tinker with the line-up, given that every member of the side contributed to the win against India.
While Pakistan will aim to win its first ever game at the ICC Women's World Twenty, Australia will want to seal its semi-final berth with a game in hand, a distinct possibility given its superior Net Run Rate.