After the rain gods denied Australia a victory in the series opener in Sydney, the hosts, riding on an unbeaten 80 by Steve Smith, sealed a win in the second T20I. With the fate of the series depending on the Perth T20I, Bodog has predicted Pakistan to suffer another loss and concede the series.
Australia - W-NR-W-W-W-W-W-L-NR-W
With a comprehensive win in the Canberra T20I, Australia cemented their place as one of the best teams in T20 cricket this year. The win has increased their win percentage in T20 cricket to 70% in their last 10 games with just one loss to go along with two no results. The scariest part about the win against Pakistan was the fact that they were able to do it without David Warner having yet another field day at the office, perishing for just 20. Should they win the final game of the series in Perth, something that Bodog has predicted, it is definitely bound to send a strong message to teams around the world with Australia set to host the T20 World Cup next year.
Pakistan - L-NR-L-L-L-L-W-L-L-W
Pakistan might still be at the top of the T20I world rankings but with England performing well in New Zealand, they would surely be feeling the heat. The 0-3 loss to Sri Lanka at home last month would have been a painful experience but the ease with which Australia are overpowering them is just a clear indication of how down on confidence the team is. In the last 10 matches, the team from the sub-continent has won just two games, which clearly highlights their recent struggles in the shortest format of the game.
Head to head
Australia: 8, Pakistan: 12, NR: 2
Despite Steve Smith’s impressive innings in Canberra, you just can’t look beyond David Warner when it comes to T20 cricket. Don’t be fooled by his average of 29.86 in T20I cricket, he is a man who can turn into a run-scoring maniac at any point in time. Since his comeback to the national team, post-Sandpaper gate, he has been a man on a mission. In the five T20I matches that he has played since his return, Warner has scores of 100*, 60*, 57*, 2* and 20, which adds up to an unbelievable average of 239. His strike rate of 147.53 is what makes the scores even scarier for the opposition.
Despite his average against Pakistan being lower than his career average, the kind of form that he is in, it would be silly to bet against the New South Welshman to be Australia's best batsman on Friday. Bodog have predicted the same as well and have given the Southpaw a slight advantage over Aaron Finch in the final T20I of the series.
Even though Pakistan have not looked like a team that deserves to be at the top of the rankings, Babar Azam does look very much like the player who deserves to be at the top of the batsman’s chart. With two consecutive half-centuries in the series so far, Azam has lived up to his average of 50+ and has oozed class from ball one. Even with other stars of the Pakistan side struggling to adjust to the quick wickets that Australia have on offer, the Pakistan skipper has looked a class apart and has been his team's lone warrior, trying to take them to a respectable total in both matches.
But it’s not just his current form that has seen Bodog predict even more success for him in the third T20I. It also has to do with the fact that he has scored 272 runs in just five innings, which averages to an astonishing 90.66, against Australia in his T20 career so far.
After an injury-struck 2018, where he managed to play just one game, Mitchell Starc seems to be back to his very best. In the four games that he has played so far this year, Starc averages a brilliant 16.16, troubling the batsmen with his angle and his variations. Despite having had an average series so far, his career average of 13.36 against Pakistan is still quite impressive. Thus, the left-armer's 'X-Factor' has seen Bodog show their faith in him again and hence have gone on to pick him as the best bowler for the Aussies.
Post his disastrous 2016 where he finished the year with an average of 32, Amir was only picked for a single game in the year that followed. He, however, made a remarkable comeback in 2018 by scalping 14 wickets at an average of 15.50. In the six T20s that he has played this year, his average has seen a slight spike, yet rests at a respectable 22.85. With the entire bowling order struggling, Pakistan will look to their now veteran player to deliver the goods against the hosts. Bodog has yet again backed the pacer to come up with goods for Pakistan.
After the Manuka Oval hosted its first T20I, now it’s the Optus Stadium’s turn to do the same. The stadium has hosted a couple of ODIs and a lone Test so far, and while it witnessed Australia’s only win in the historic series loss against India, the limited-over games have not gone too well for the hosts, with them losing both games. However, the 60,000 capacity stadium has not lost the charm that the WACA provided, as the curators have ensured a fast wicket for this stadium as well.
Australia’s win in Canberra has seen the focus shift from the series being competitive to whether or not Pakistan can avoid being embarrassed. Taking into account Warner’s form, Bodog has even gone on to predict him to score close to 30 runs in the final T20I. With the wicket being batting friendly as well, Bodog is also leaning towards a fifty being scored in the game.
Babar Azam (c), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir
Venue: Optus Stadium, Perth
When to watch: November 8, 2.00 PM
Where to watch: Sony Ten Network
To get extensive coverage of the match along with the live updates, follow Bodog
Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain
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