Pak vs Aus T20 World Cup 2012 Live Streaming Super 8
Another loss to Australia, the competition's most assured and dominant team so far, and the Pakistanis will be highly unlikely to make the semi-finals. It is a harsh scenario, but a reflection of the competition's format, calling for consistent results. The hesitance and doubt evident against India must quickly be shed from the minds and limbs of Pakistan's cricketers, but the looming possibility of elimination may not aid the return of a state of focus.
By contrast, Australia know they do not even need to win to progress, for they will qualify for the semi-finals unless Pakistan can inflict the sort of thrashing George Bailey's men have commonly dealt out so for, and a similar margin unfolds in India's match against South Africa. So far led with exceptional poise and power by the irrepressible Shane Watson, the Australians have not had their depth of batting tested. Nevertheless, the likes of Michael Hussey and Cameron White have shown decent touch in their brief stays at the crease, and the confidence of all players has benefited from Watson's show of strength.
These two sides are very familiar with one another, having contested T20 and ODI series in the UAE as a prelude to this event. Australia began that T20 series floundering, and ended it with growing confidence. They have gone up another notch or three since, while Pakistan have been shaken by the India defeat. Mohammad Hafeez's team will hope to regain the confidence they showed in Dubai, or risk elimination from an event they looked in with a chance to win a few days ago.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for
The outstanding display by Xavier Doherty on his recall to the team has placed some pressure on Brad Hogg for his spot in the XI, should Australia wish to revert back to a one spinner policy against teams better versed at slow bowling than South Africa. Hogg has bowled tidily enough during the tournament, and offered plenty of energy in the field. But he has only two victims at a cost of 53.50 so far, and will need to provide a greater impact on the wickets column as the tournament reaches its pointy end.
Plenty of chatter has surrounded Mohammad Hafeez's surprisingly halting display with the bat and in the field against India. While there is some understanding at the occasion getting the better of Hafeez and his team, Pakistan's captain must show greater steel against Australia in order to push his team to the next phase. Hafeez should be helped by a return to the top of the bowling attack, for his spin has troubled David Warner in the past.
Pakistan can either make changes in reaction to the heavy defeat against India or keep faith with the XI that had previously looked so poised at this event.Pakistan (probable): 1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 2 Imran Nazir, 3 Nasir Jamshed, 4 Kamran Akmal (wk), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Yasir Arafat, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Raza Hasan
Xavier Doherty will be very difficult to drop from Australia's XI following his exceptional 3 for 20 against South Africa.
Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Mike Hussey, 4 Cameron White, 5 George Bailey (capt), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Brad Hogg, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Xavier Doherty
Pitch and conditions
As expected, the Premadasa Stadium surface is growing more sluggish and spin friendly with each passing match. It will not be too far removed from the Dubai surface on which Australia and Pakistan last met.Stats and trivia
A win for Australia would equal their longest winning streak in T20Is, a span of six matches at the 2010 World T20 in the CaribbeanDefeat for Pakistan would have them miss the semi-finals of the World T20 for the first time. They were finalists in 2007, winners in 2009 and beaten semi-finalists in 2010
Even Australia's captain is running out of words to describe Shane Watson's current form. Four matches into the tournament, Australia's supposedly suspect middle order has barely seen the light of day. Watson is yet to be dismissed for less than 50, has made a tournament-leading 234 runs with a strike rate of 164, has hit the most sixes and is the leading wicket-taker to boot.
He prospered on the bouncy tracks at the start of the tournament, and has remained as effective when they have slowed down. Oppositions have bowled short to him, whether by plan or mistake, and Watson has been unerringly brutal. Others have tried pitching fuller, but his lofted drives have been no less merciful. He has been as comfortable against Dale Steyn's swing as he was against Sunil Narine's offspin. His bowling almost seems an afterthought, given how colossal he has been with the bat, but Pakistan will do well to plan for his steady seamers as well, if they wish to avoid a three-way tie for the second semi-final berth or being knocked out by an Indian victory.
"Things are just falling my way at the moment," Watson said. "Even against South Africa, bowling-wise the wicket of AB de Villiers wasn't one of the better balls I bowled, especially with the field I had. Batting-wise I knew how important it was to get through the first four or five overs with the quality of quick bowlers South Africa had, and then you sort of hope you can get away. You've just got to make the most of it when you can because I know how quickly it can turn and your form can go against you."
Australia arrived at the World Twenty20 barely fending off Ireland for number 9 in the Twenty20 rankings but with four dominant victories, have established themselves as the frontrunners of their Super Eights group. Watson said although Australia had lost the Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the UAE days before arriving in Sri Lanka, that experience has played a significant role in their success at the World Twenty20 so far.
"I think we all knew exactly what conditions we were going to have," he said. "The conditions in Dubai were brilliant practice because what we had there was very similar to what we have here. We know the further the tournament goes, the more it's going to turn. That's going to be a big challenge for us, but at the moment, the top three [are] scoring the bulk of the runs, and when that happens you are able to keep your run rate pretty high."
Australia picked left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty ahead of seam-bowling allrounder Daniel Christian for their match against South Africa, on a drier-looking pitch than the surfaces they had encountered previously in Colombo. Doherty took 3 wickets for 20 having opened the bowling, including the scalps of Richard Levi and Jacques Kallis in the first three overs. With pitches expected to become more spin-friendly as the tournament progresses, Australia captain George Bailey said Doherty's attitude and form was encouraging ahead of their match with Pakistan.
"Xavier handled the pressure of taking the new ball really well. It was a really specific role that we wanted him for today and he got the absolute best result that he could have. To have South Africa three wickets down after that first six overs really put them on the backfoot and made it hard for them to gain any momentum through those middle overs."
Bailey said Australia are also wary of the spin threat their opponents pose. Saeed Ajmal was the leading wicket-taker in the UAE series, with six wickets at 8.66 and an economy rate of 4.33, while left arm spinner Raza Hasan and offspinner Mohammad Hafeez took five wickets between them. Bailey said Australia's batsmen had had trouble reading Ajmal, but that they had learnt from their clashes with him in the UAE and devised new strategies for him.
"I don't know if you can decode Ajmal. He's going to be a key for the rest of the tournament, and will probably become more dangerous the deeper the tournament goes. We've got some thoughts and ideas, but if he comes out and bowls unbelievably, it's going to be tough for sure."