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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Australia vs Pakistan 1st ODI 2009 Analysis & Live Score

(This entry was originally published on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009)

Pakistan is going to face Australia in the first match of the five-match ODI series at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE tomorrow (22 April 2009). For both sides, the series is very important, though for different reasons. When Pakistan is considering the series as a big relief because finally they are now on the field again following last month’s terror attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Australia is looking to retain the top spot of ODI ranking by winning the five match series. However, there is no difference in the intention of the two teams as both Pakistan and Australia are determined to make a winning start to the series.

Match: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st ODI 2009

Date: 22 April 2009

Venue: Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE

Time: 14:30 Local time (10:30 GMT)

Live TV: Ten Sports

Pakistan cricket has been in the newspaper headlines over the last one year mostly because of their turbulent security condition of the country. Pakistan has recently been dropped as one of the co-hosts of ICC World Cup 2011 due to the same security concern. Well, Pakistan fans have finally got an opportunity to cheer on for their cricket team on the field as Pakistan and Australia are taking on each other in a seemingly exciting ODI series starting from tomorrow.

Pakistan did not have enough international fixtures over the last nine months during which the sub-continent powerhouse took part in six ODI and two test matches. Now, they are going to play five ODI and a twenty20 international over the next 16 days. So, you can guess that the series in UAE has come as a big occasion for the Pakistani cricket fans who have been starving for cricket actions involving their favorite team for a number of months now.

Australia, on the other hand, has played too much cricket over the last nine months- which eventually resulting into some of their key players being rested for the series. The players who have been given rest ahead of ICC World Twenty20 2009, starting from June 5 in England, are Captain Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle. In the absence of Ponting, stand-in captain Michel Clarke will lead the Aussies who are now looking to overtake South Africa at the top of the ODI ranking and they know that winning the current series will see them achieving so.

Both sides have some star players who have returned to the squad after a long time and the series seems to be a testing ground for them where they are expected to try to give their hundred percent to retain their regular place in the squad. Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds has made the return after 10 months during which he was headlined mainly because of his off-field problems including breaching discipline and injury. Even his on-field performance in domestic tournament is not impressive at all, but the selectors have given him a chance to prove his worth once again to cement his place in the squad.

Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has also returned to the squad after getting over his injury and the series is very important for the veteran who missed lots of international cricket actions over the last couple of years because of suspension and injury. Shoaib made a return to 2-1 loss to ODI series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, but his poor performance eventually led the selectors to drop him from the test series against Sri Lanka. The fitness of Shoaib Akhtar is one of the vital issues that Pakistan is dealing with and he could be a crucial performer for Pakistan if he remains fit. In fact, his reverse swing ability on the dry condition could just spice up the already enticing series.

It has been reported that Pakistan could play three pacers including Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, and Sohail Tanvir, while their spin attack might feature Saeed Ajmal alongside two senior players Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. Pakistan’s batting line up is very much balanced in the presence of two quality all rounders like Shoaib Malik and Afridi with Sohail Tanvir’s ability to put some runs quickly on the board down the order just increasing their batting depth.

For Australia, as I have mentioned earlier, they are missing some of their big stars of today. However, still they are expected to come out strong against Pakistan. Batting will be their main strength in the presence of some quality batsmen like Michael Clarke. Though Clarke and Haddin showed enough progress as a possible opening pair, Australia will feature Shaun Marsh and all rounder Shane Watson in the opening slots, followed by Brad Haddin, Clarke, Symonds, Hussey and Callum Ferguson, who already showed his talent and skill in South Africa.

However, in the absence of Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, and injured Brett Lee, it is clearly seen that Australia will feature a depleted pace attack including Nathan Bracken, Ben Laughlin and Stuart Clark, who has just retuned from injury. Australia is expected to play Nathan Hauritz as the only specialist spinner in the match with Captain Michael Clarke and Symonds are available as occasional spinner.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some live score and update websites from where you can get the live updates of the match:

Cricinfo

Sify sports

action8cricket

cricketnext

Headlinesindia.com

CRICBUZZ

123INDIA.COM

Cricket365

Thatscricket

The condition will definitely favor Pakistan as they would find it as similar as their home grounds. In a dry condition like this, spinners are expected to have some extra advantages, but the pacers could be dangerous with reverse swing which will be an effective weapon in a hot condition like Dubai. I think, Pakistani spinners could be dangerous for the Australian batsmen who did not face any quality spin attack in a spin-friendly condition in their last two series. In fact, the Australians struggled against South African spinner Johan Botha a lot in their last two ODI series against South Africa. So, the senior players like Clarke, Symonds would have to step up to lead their batting line up, if Australia wants to bring something positive out of the first ODI.

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