Preview: Australia and Pakistan will lock horns with each other in Taunton on Wednesday. This will be the fourth match of the tournament for both the teams. While Australia are placed in fourth in the points table with two wins from three matches, Pakistan are eighth with one win, one loss and one match ending in no result.
Both sides have strong batting and bowling line-ups and there is little to choose between the two sides.
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir
Alex Carey (8 Cr)
The Australian wicket-keeper generally bats at No. 7 for Australia but he might be promoted in this match following his superb knocks of 45 and anunbeaten 55 against the Windies and India respectively. Moreover, he comes at only 8 credits as compared to Sarfaraz Ahmed at 8.5 credits, thus giving you the flexibility to free up some budget to pick other players with a high price-tag.
David Warner (10 Cr) , Steve Smith (10 Cr) , Babar Azam (10 Cr) and Fakhar Zaman (9 Cr)
Both Smith and Warner scored fifties in the previous match against India but that didn't turn out to be enough for an Australian victory. So they would be eager to kick on this time and translate their starts into big knocks. While Warner has a healthy average of 47.41 against Pakistan, Smith has an even better average of 55.66 against them. Irrespective of whether Australia bat or bowl first, you can expect good returns from the duo.
Babar Azam, on the other hand, might have played only five matches against Australia but he is averaging 56.40 with one century and one fifty to his name. Moreover, he has shown good form in the tournament and it looks like a big knock is just around the corner. Fakhar Zaman is an explosive batsman Pakistan have at the top and he can hurt you big time if you choose to overlook him. He has got starts in the couple of matches he has batted so far but he is yet to get a big knock under his belt. This match might just be the one and you surely would not want to miss cashing in on his score.
Glenn Maxwell (9 Cr) and Shoaib Malik (8.5 Cr)
Maxwell averages 55.00 in ODIs against Pakistan and has a mammoth strike-rate of 124.13 against them. Australia haven't used him that well in the tournament so far but they should consider giving him a bigger role with the bat in this match. If that happens, he is going to rack up a lot of fantasy points.
Malik, on the other hand, has a huge fantasy potential as well. He is a vital cog of Pakistan's middle-order and they will require his services if the top order fails to perform. Moreover, you can expect him to be amongst the wickets this time as his off-spin will be a useful weapon against Australia’s batting lineup which will have at least three left-handers in it. If he manages to score some runs along with that, it will translate into a big haul in terms of fantasy points.
Mitchell Starc (9 Cr), Pat Cummins (9 Cr), Mohammad Amir (9 Cr) and Wahab Riaz (8.5 Cr)
Three left-arm pacers, Starc, Amir and Riaz, and one right-arm pacer, Cummins, make up the bowling department of our team. Starc has an excellent record against Pakistan having claimed 21 wickets in nine matches at an excellent average of 17.71. He takes a wicket every 23.4 deliveries against them. So you can expect him to pick up at least a couple of wickets in this match. His price tag of 9 Cr might seem to be hefty but it is worth considering what he delivers. Pat Cummins also offers a lot of value as he is the second best bowler in the team after Starc. Moreover, he can score points with his handy batting abilities too and that's why you need to pick him in your team.
As far as the two Pakistan pacers are concerned, Amir and Riaz can be lethal on their day. Amir in particular has looked good in the couple of matches he has bowled so far. He is getting swing with the new ball and batsmen are finding it hard to play him. Riaz, on the other hand, bowled superbly in the death overs against England. He can be lethal in this match as well if he finds reverse swing going his way.
Best Bet: Steve Smith and Babar Azam
Alternatives: Glenn Maxwell and David Warner