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Cricket World Cup: Australia v Pakistan preview

Australia got their World Cup campaign back on track with a victory over Sri Lanka and now need to back it up against Pakistan on Friday.

The Aussies started the World Cup with defeats against India and South Africa and at one point a third-straight loss looked a possibilty.

But in the end they fought out a five-wicket win to get the ball rolling and will look to build on the victory when they take on Pakistan.

Pakistan lost a thriller against India in their last game and will be desperate to bounce back against Australia.

Another close one could be on the cards at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday night, so let’s take a closer look at the match-up.

WhatAustralia v Pakistan
WhereM. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
When18:30 (AEST) Friday 20th September, 2023
How to watch9Now, Kayo Sports
OddsAustralia 1.57, Pakistan 2.37

Zampa injury concerns

Adam Zampa may have put in a man-of-the match display against Sri Lanka, but he did so while suffering back spasms.

The Aussie spin bowler had to undergo a fitness test before the game and did just enough to earn a spot in the side.

Australia will be glad he passed it, as without him, they could have suffered a third defeat on the bounce.

Sri Lanka, who batted first, were sat on 125-0 and looked like putting on a mammoth total for Australia to chase.

That was until Zampa put his discomfort behind him to take four wickets for 47 runs off the eight overs he bowled.

Zampa had clearly been affected by the issue in the first two games of the tournament, and Australia will now be hoping he has not suffered any further damage.

The spinner was taken off and replaced by Glenn Maxwell late in the game and there will be one or two concerns heading into Pakistan clash.

Zampa can still be backed at 4.33 to be Team – Top Bowler against Pakistan.

Marsh back in business

Mitch Marsh rediscovered his pre World Cup form with an impressive knock of 52 when opening the batting before he was eventually run-out.

It was needed as both David Warner and Steve Smith were bowled lbw for just 11 and 0 runs respectively.

Josh Inglis was the star performer with the bat when scoring 58, while Marnus Labuschagne chipped in with 40.

Glenn Maxwell (31) and Marcus Stoinis (20) got Australia over the line, and there was plenty of promise to take for Australia’s batting performance.

The same will be needed against Pakistan and Inglis can be backed at 7.50 to repeat his heroics and finish Team – Top Batter once again.

No panic from Pakistan

Pakistan slipped to a disappointing loss to India in their last game, but team director Mickey Arthur says they will not be reaching for the panic button.

However Arthur described Pakistan’s batting as ‘timid’ and they will be looking to put that right against Australia.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan put on 82 runs in 17.2 overs and Pakistan will look to be more aggressive on Friday.

However there will be no knee-jerk reactions and Arthur looks sure to keep faith with the same side.

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