Australia and Pakistan will face off in a 2023 ICC ODI World Cup clash of titans on Friday, with both sides desperate to stay in touch with frontrunners New Zealand and India.
It’s been an up and down tournament for these outfits, but any mounting scrutiny will be temporarily put to rest with a win in this encounter.
Check out our full preview of the match below, complete with betting tips and player props!
ICC Cricket World Cup Betting Tips
Australia vs Pakistan
Bangalore, Friday 20th October, 7:30pm (AEDT)
Australia finally got their World Cup campaign rolling on Monday, defeating Sri Lanka by five wickets in a match of twists and turns.
After failing to take early wickets it looked as though the Aussies would be chasing a 300+ score, only for Adam Zampa (4/47) to lead a revival that saw nine wickets fall for just 52 runs.
The resulting chase of 209 was straightforward for winless Australia, despite a couple of early wickets sending nerves through the camp.
Mitch Marsh (52) and Josh Inglis (58) both returned to form to see their side home with nearly 15 overs to spare, inspiring confidence in a playing group that was struggling for answers.
Sitting 1-2, Australia are now back in the hunt, especially considering some of the shock results that have come through over the last few days.
However, there are still plenty of question marks over this champion team – is Steve Smith’s best behind him? Who is the #1 wicket keeper? Will the ageing fast bowlers succumb to fatigue? All remains to be seen.
I expect the Aussies to stick with their winning XI for the match against Pakistan, although I wouldn’t be surprised if some bowler rotation occurs soon.
Australia Predicted XI: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
Pakistan are in a slightly better position than their opposition at 2-1, but they have been dealt some curve balls this week.
Illness has swept through the squad, compromising their preparation ahead of this crunch clash with Australia.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that each member of Friday’s XI will be fully fit.
It’s certainly not ideal for Pakistan after they lost their last match to India by 7 wickets, comprehensively beaten in all facets of the game.
With that being said, Pakistan still have several players who are firing on all cylinders – Mohammad Rizwan has scored 248 runs at an average of 124, other batsmen have hit the scoreboard and Hasan Ali has taken seven wickets.
It’s difficult to predict who will be selected in the XI for Friday given the events of this week, but hopefully the players recover swiftly to make this a fair contest.
Pakistan Predicted XI: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
It will be interesting to see how this game plays out, considering the uncertainty surrounding both teams. While Pakistan have been playing the better cricket in this format recently, Australia have historically triumphed from a head-to-head perspective, with Pakistan winning just one series between the teams since 2002. With that in mind and considering the cloud of illness lingering over the Pakistan team, I’m backing Australia to record their second win of the tournament.
Player Prop Quick Tips
Bowler Matchbet 1 – Mitchell Starc ($2.38 at Ladbrokes) – This match bet pits Starc up against Shaheen Afridi in a battle of the spearhead fast bowlers. Starc has been the better bowler in this tournament so far, taking five wickets versus Afridi’s four, and it has been reported that Afridi was one of the players to fall ill at the beginning of this week. As such, I expect Starc to outperform his rival on Friday.