Follow Australia’s opening T20 showdown with Pakistan from the SCG

Australia

Fresh from a clean sweep against Sri Lanka, Australia take on world No.1 Pakistan in the first of a three-match T20 series at the SCG. JOIN OUR LIVE BLOG!

Captain Babar Azam’s men will this week aim to become just the fourth Pakistan side to win a series in Australia across any format from 29 attempts.

Traditionally Pakistan sides – like most other touring teams from the sub-continent – have struggled with extra pace and bounce in Australia’s wickets.

But while none of their team have played a T20 in Australia ahead of this week’s three-match series, they are confident the usual touring struggles won’t apply to the game’s shortest form.

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“It’s easy in T20s, because Test cricket is very different,” Babar said.

“White-ball cricket is easier. The wickets are true. And we had a good tour game.”

The captain’s claims are backed by the fact both India and Sri Lanka have a winning record in Australia in T20s – even allowing for Sri Lanka’s 3-0 defeat last week.

In fairness though, the Aussies have rarely taken full-strength sides into T20 games like they are now, due to workload concerns and scheduling issues.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have played just one T20 in Australia, coming way back in February 2010 in a game where Steve Smith made his international debut.

But Pakistan are the world’s top-ranked side in the format for a reason. They are also well aware they must stop David Warner to have any hope, after he whacked a combined 217 without losing his wicket in the three wins over Sri Lanka.

“We have our plans for him, and the attempts will be to remove him quickly,” Babar said.

“We have plans ready with (quicks) Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir.”

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