With Pakistan taking an unassailable lead in this series against Australia, this game (5pm BST, Monday, Sept 10) is effectively a dead rubber and matches such as these can be hard to predict. However, neither side will be looking to take it easy with a World Cup around the corner.
Despite Pakistan’s dominance in terms of results, these are two very closely matched sides and that was in evidence in the final result in the second game on Friday. It took a super over to decide the winners after both teams scored 151 to tie the scores and you just can’t get a closer finish in T20 cricket.
How Ladbrokes Bookmaker bets on this game:
10/11 Pakistan, 10/11 Australia
Pakistan have a concern over the influential Saeed Ajmal after the spinner injured his shoulder during the second game on Friday. However, it seems that Ajmal will be passed fit although Shahid Afridi is unlikely to be risked as his thumb injury hasn’t healed in time.
The Pakistani skipper Mohammad Hafeez also suggested that his side may make some changes in personnel to give some of the fringe players a little game time ahead of the World Cup. With the series already won, it makes sense to look at other squad members but could this ultimately play into Australian hands?
The Aussies have certainly improved on their dismal first performance when they were subjected to a record T20 defeat and you only have to consider that many bookmakers are still making them favourites here to realise that they have a great chance.
George Bailey’s men also face the unhappy thought of dropping below Ireland in the World T20 rankings and that should be incentive enough to get them over the line in this final match.
On Friday, Brad Hogg was recalled to the side in place of Glenn Maxwell and while Hogg is still a sound performer with the ball, Maxwell’s power hitting may well have taken Australia to victory and a tied series ahead of this match. If the all-rounder is fit and recalled to the squad, this could be another factor that makes Australia the logical choice to take this final game.
There were also signs that some members of the Aussie batting order are starting to find some form as Bailey himself made 42 from 27 balls while David Warner, Shane Watson and Mike Hussey also made useful starts. Cameron White is struggling however but it’s hard to see any logical batting replacement in the Australian squad.
So, Maxwell for Hogg could be the only change but what do the Aussies need to do in order to take a consolation victory?
The key, once again, could be Saeed Ajmal who took impressive figures of 2-20 from four overs in the Australian run chase on Friday. The spinner may well be rested even if he is fit as there seems little point in risking further injury.
If Ajmal is left out, I would definitely take Australia for the victory but with Pakistan already promising to make changes, a win for Bailey’s side still seems the most likely outcome.
Our betting tip: Australia to win at 10/11 with Ladbrokes.