Australia will look to come back into the series when they take on Pakistan in the third ODI on Thursday.
Pakistan had not beaten Australia in any format of the game in Australia since 2005, before they finally managed to end that barren winless spell at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the second ODI of the current series.
Australia’s six-wicket defeat at the MCG exposed the home side’s frailties against slow bowling, and may have worried the selectors more, ahead of their tour to India, than the actual result against Pakistan. Although the pitch didn’t offer an excess of turn, its sluggish nature was utilised by Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik and the stand-in captain Mohammad Hafeez, and the surfeit of stroke-makers in the Australian line up were unable to find any rhythm.
With the series now level at 1-1, the third fixture in the series is scheduled for the WACA in Perth on Thursday, and will offer a completely different strip from that at the MCG.
The hosts will have to do without Mitchell Marsh in Perth, after the player was ruled out of the rest of the ODI series with a shoulder injury. A problem that might further rule him out of the tour to India. The injury to Marsh’s right shoulder has already presented the side with a problem, as it has restricted his ability to bowl at much more than mid-120kph. His replacement is the all-rounder from Victoria, Marcus Stoinis.
Further bad news for the Australian selectors came in the form of the withdraw from the Perth fixture of Chris Lynn, who is suffering with an ongoing neck injury. Another Victorian, Peter Handscomb comes in for Lynn. Handscomb, has already posted two centuries and two fifties in the four Tests that he has played.
The leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who was an unused squad member in the first two ODI’s, was released by the selectors to play in the BBL for the Melbourne Stars on Tuesday night, before flying out to Perth to join up with the rest of the squad.