By BV Swagath
After an embarrassing night on Thursday, Australia must be down mentally ahead of the Second T20I at the Dubai International Stadium. The Aussies were humiliated in the opening T20I at this same venue when they were bundled out for just 89 and then obviously went onto concede a huge defeat. The second T20I will be tonight and the Aussies are in a must win situation to save the 3-match series.
Under George Bailey, Australia has looked like a vulnerable team in this format of the game. George Bailey, the Captain himself is a pretty rookie player at this level with hardly any experience at the international level. Sometimes one would get the feeling that Australia is too keen on experimenting and not too serious about the T20 format of the game.
The Aussies will have to quickly figure out on how to dominate the spinners because they will have to cope up with plenty of that during the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka. It is learnt that the Aussies have already announced making three changes to the side that was thrashed by Pakistan the other night. Glenn Maxwell, Xavier Doherty and Ben Hilfenhaus are going to be replaced with Daniel Christian, Brad Hogg and Mitchell Starc. A win for Australia is really important as they are facing the embarrassment of falling below minnows Ireland in the ICC Rankings for T20Is.
Pakistan on the other hand is a confident unit because they know that they have plenty of spin options to strangle the Aussie batting line-up on the sluggish Dubai pitch. They also have the nagging Sohail Tanvir who is difficult to score off because of the lack of pace. Match-winning all-rounder Shahid Afridi is likely to sit out for this game as well because of a thumb injury.
Australia XI: David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, George Bailey (Captain), Cameron White, Matthew Wade (Wicket Keeper), Daniel Christian, Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc
Pakistan Squad: Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir