Buoyant USA out to slip banana skin under Pakistan - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Buoyant USA out to slip banana skin under Pakistan

 USA will be looking to add to their opening win against Canada in the T20 World Cup

USA will be looking to add to their opening win against Canada in the T20 World Cup © Getty

After a surreal opening night orchestrated by vice-captain Aaron Jones pyrotechnics, USA find themselves back in action after a four-day interlude. The USA are fast turning out to be a side you'd seek to avoid in a world event if you were a Pakistan, known to be the ultimate upset victims. Most in the USA squad are a battle-hardened T20 lot who play 60-70 quality T20 games in a calendar year. That T20 muscle memory, a higher risk tolerance palate and overall adaptability to the format had USA sail through to a historic series win against an undercooked T20 side in Bangladesh and of course the high voltage clash against Canada on Saturday.

Runners up at the last T20 World Cup, the mercurial Pakistan now appear to be a shadow of themselves in contrast to the world event in Australia. Pakistan come into the world cup enduring a rather torrid time on and off the field. A crushing 4-1 defeat in New Zealand saw the deposition of Shaheen Shah Afridi. Which was followed by an embarrassing drawn series against a beleaguered New Zealand at home. Pakistan even dropped a game against Bangladesh before getting hammered two nil at the hands of England most recently.

In a high stakes game, USA would dearly want their most celebrated player Corey Anderson to come to the party. Having last turned out for New Zealand in 2018, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf got a fair account of Anderson's ability to turn the clock back with their time together at San Francisco Unicorns at last year's MLC. The ex Kiwi enjoyed a prolific run with the bat averaging 47 with a strike rate of over 145.

While USA look a fairly settled unit, Pakistan look mired in combination conundrums starting right at the top. Saim Ayyub's continued failures with the bat may mean Pakistan revert to the polarising opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who have divided opinion in the public consciousness. Pakistan are also yet to solve the enigma that is Azam Khan. Azam looked to come to grips with international cricket after a couple of brisk cameos in Ireland but was flattened in England with some below par performances with the bat and gloves.

When: USA vs Pakistan, June 6, 330 PM GMT, 1030 AM Local, 9PM IST

Where:Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas Metro Area, Texas

What to expect: The high scoring opening encounter was played under lights on a true belter. The shot making remained conducive throughout the duration of the game as the ball seemingly flew off the bat. The day game between Nepal and Netherlands was a battle of attrition for the batters after light showers delayed scheduled start. However, Thursday is expected to be bright, sunny and hot.

Team Watch

USA

USA captain Monank Patel went down with fever after the Canada game which ensued his absence from Tuesday's training session. He is expected to recuperate in time for Thursday.

Probable XI: Monank Patel (c & wk), Steven Taylor, Andries Gous, Aaron Jones, Corey Anderson, Harmeet Singh, Nitish Kumar, Jasdeep Singh, Saurabh Netravalkar, Ali Khan, Shadley Van Schalkwyk/Nostush Kenjige

Pakistan

Imad Wasim is set miss out for Pakistan's opening bout due to side strain. Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed is tipped to be inducted as the second spinner along with Shadab Khan. Pakistan are saddled with the difficult decision of leaving out at least one between Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir and Naseem Shah.

Probable XI:

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf/Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah

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