Pakistan and Australia will start their three-match T20I series at Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney on Sunday.

The visitors are coming into the series on the back of a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in Lahore in the T20I series. Despite losing six of their seven T20I games played in 2019, Pakistan are still at the top in ICC standings; however, the status now looks under threat.

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This series will be the first assignment of Babar Azam, who replaced Sarfraz Ahmed as skipper last month. It remains to be seen that how the 25-year-old right-hander, who is currently world no.1 T20 batsman, deals with the pressure of captaincy.

On an SCG pitch that is expected to favour stroke play, Pakistan will rely largely on hard-hitters like Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah. Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Amir are also expected to play a critical role.

Australia, on the other hand, will be looking for another clean sweep following their thumping 3-0 win over Sri Lanka in a home T20 series that ended on Friday. While they beat the islanders thanks to a collective effort, David Warner was particularly ruthless, having scored 200 runs in three games at an average of 66.66.

A series whitewash will help the Aussies leapfrog Pakistan to claim world no.1 T20 status. It will also be sweet revenge of their 3-0 thrashing to the Asian side in the United Arab Emirates late in 2018.

Pakistan haven’t won an international series against Australia in their backyard since February 2002, when they secured a 2-1 win in a three-match ODI series. Since then, they have lost 24 of their 26 international games against Aussies in their country.

Probable XIs:

Pakistan

Babar Azam (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail,  Mohammad Irfan, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim

Australia:

Aaron Finch (Captain), David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson Steven Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa

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