While Pakistan may arguably be the most unpredictable team in World Cricket they are capable of turning in some fine performances as their impressive display in the first game of this series proved. In cruising to a seven wicket win on Wednesday, the home side condemned Australia to their heaviest defeat in T20 cricket in terms of overs to spare and it leaves the tourists struggling near the bottom of the World rankings.
Surprisingly however, most bookmakers are keeping the same set of odds from the first match in this series and many are making the Australians slight favourites on the eve of this second game (tomorrow 4.30pm BST).
The problem with betting on Pakistan is that you never know what you are going to get as some frequently brilliant displays are often followed up by some very poor cricket. However, if you’re having a bet on this second match then it’s worth bearing in mind just how much the Australians are struggling in this form of the game.
After Michael Clarke’s retirement from international T20, the side is led by the inexperienced George Bailey and under his stewardship, the Australians have continued to slide down the rankings. If the run continues, Bailey’s men could slip to 10th in T20 cricket and by the time the World Cup begins later this month, they would then be ranked lower than Ireland, their first opponents in that contest.
The Aussies’ current form was also perfectly highlighted in the first game in this series when they crumbled to a dismal 89 all out from 19.3 overs. While much of the focus has been on Saeed Ajmal and how the Australians would play him, the damage was done at the top of the order by part time bowler Mohammad Hafeez and Sohail Tanvir who helped to reduce the tourists to 52-5.
The reasons for Australia’s abject displays are something of a mystery particularly when you consider that their opening partnership of Shane Watson and David Warner is arguably the most explosive batting combination in world cricket.
Despite the inexperience of Bailey’s captaincy, there are some old heads in the side in the shape of Mike Hussey and his brother David while the line-up also contain some exciting new faces in the shape of Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins – two of the most highly-regarded young players in the game.
In short, it’s a complete mystery as to why this Australian side is underperforming and when you add in the unpredictable nature of Pakistan’s own cricket, this is arguably the hardest of all games to predict.
Judging by the score in the first match, it would make sense to stick with Pakistan who produced an emphatic display throughout the side. Sometimes however, you just feel that a talented unit will come good and Australia can do just that on Friday and keep the series poised at 1-1 going into the decider.