Match facts: Australia v pakistan
Face off between David Warner and Saeed Ajmal could be the highlight of the all-important clash
After being billed as the favourite at the start of the tournament, Friday’s loss to India has suddenly put Pakistan in a spot of bother. With another defeat carrying the danger of pushing it out of the race for a spot in the semi-finals, Pakistan will have its task cut out when it faces a tough opponent in Australia.
Australia, on the other hand, is in the best possible form heading into its opening encounter. With David Warner and Aaron Finch in supreme touch, Australia will turn to its openers to lay the platform.
With both teams looking for a win, here is a look at some of the facts and key battles ahead of the clash.
Australia has faced Pakistan 11 times previously in T20Is but has only managed four wins, losing in six of them, with the other match ending in a tie.
Pakistan has only lost one of its last six T20Is against Australia; winning four while one game ended in a tie.
Aaron Finch (Australia) has hit 41 fours in T20Is since June 2013, more than any other batsman.
Saeed Ajmal took 3/17 in the last meeting between these sides in a T20I;
Pakistan won that ICC World Twenty20 match by 32 runs (October 2012).
Five of the last six tosses in T20Is have been won by Pakistan against Australia.
George Bailey needs 65 runs to reach 500 in T20I matches.
Mitchell Starc is one wicket short of reaching 20 in T20Is.
If Shoaib Malik makes 75 runs in this game, he will reach 1000 runs in T20Is.
David Warner v Saeed Ajmal
The key battleground for this pivotal match will be between the in-form batsman at the top of the order for Australia and the leading wicket-taker in T20Is, Saeed Ajmal.
The aggressive nature of Warner’s batting will mean that fans of Australia will be anticipating a quick start, providing a solid platform for the middle order. Those expectations are in-line with what Warner has been producing out in the middle; he is been in imperious form. Terrorising opponents all over the globe and in every format of the game as of late but he will be facing a very difficult assignment in Mirpur against the likes of Saeed Ajmal. The Pakistan veteran has claimed 82 wickets in T20Is, the most ever by any player.
Conditions are said to be favourable toward spin and this could potentially slow down Australia’s pace- setters at the top of the order. Furthermore, Ajmal has a terrific record against Australia in T20I cricket; recording 18 wickets at 13.22 in his 10 previous T20Is appearances against it.