Babar Azam says confidence high in Pakistan camp ahead of second T20 against Australia
Pakistan lead three-match series 1-0 ahead of Friday's second match in Dubai
Babar Azam says winning the Twenty20 series against Australia on UAE soil will go some way to making up for Pakistan's disappointing Asia Cup campaign.
Pakistan lead the three-match series 1-0 after thrashing Australia in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday by 66 runs. Victory in Friday's second match in Dubai would follow a 1-0 Test series win over the same opponents in the Emirates 1-0 earlier this month.
It would go some way to making up for Pakistan's miserable Asia Cup campaign in September when they limped through to the Super Four stage before a surprise exit to Bangladesh.
“The confidence was very low after the Asia Cup but the success we have had over Australia so far has provided the players new confidence,” said Babar, who top-scored for Pakistan in Wednesday's first T20 with an unbeaten 68.
Pakistan’s batting will be bolstered by the return of Shoaib Malik who delayed his arrival to the UAE to be with his wife, Indian tennis player Sania Mirza, who is expecting their first child.
Pakistan suffered a dramatic batting collapse towards the end of the match at Zayed Cricket Stadium when five wickets fell for three runs within the space of 10 balls.
“Shoaib’s absence did hurt us,” Babar said. “Mohammed Hafeez filled that void but he couldn’t finish it as Shoaib does. Shoaib can carry his bat through to the end, so that is why we missed him.”
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Australia captain Aaron Finch suggested the make-up of the team will change for the second match at Dubai International Stadium.
The visitors, chasing 155, were shot out for 89, their third lowest total in T20s, behind the 79 against England at Southampton in 2005 and 86 against India in 2014.
Australia slumped to 22-6 in what Finch described a "horrific" Powerplay when the opener was first batsman out to left-arm spinner Imad Wasim in only the third ball of the inning.
“Opening the batting, it's my responsibility to get us off to a good start and set up the chase there,” he said.
“I take full responsibility for that. I think any time that you're chasing a total like that it's important you have a solid start and for me to get out in the first over and not give us that was not good enough.”
Finch said the performance was so poor that changes would be considered for the second match.
Batsman Mitchell Marsh may come into the side along with spinner Nathan Lyon and the pace duo Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc, who sat out the first match nursing a hamstring problem he picked up in the second Test.
“Absolutely, we’ll be looking at changes,” Finch said. “I think all in all, our bowling performance was pretty good. Our fielding was slightly sloppy, then the batting was awful.
“Definitely when that happens, when you lose a game so badly, you have to look at everything.”
Can Australia bounce back?
“Yes absolutely. We have a lot of experienced and very good players," Finch added." One bad day with the bat goes out of the window and it's important that we go back to basics and when we get to Dubai, hopefully we can come back stronger.
“We know a lot about their bowling attack. We still felt it was a chase that was gettable.
“On a surface like that in Abu Dhabi, it's important to get off to a good start, get a good start and build some partnerships. It was just that Powerplay. It was horrific. It was like a car crash in slow motion.”
Updated: October 25, 2018 04:13 PM