Pakistan will be aiming to rediscover the winning ways when they lock horns with Australia in the first of three T20 internationals in Sydney on Sunday. 

The men in green, who are currently occupying the top spot in T20 ranking, will head into the series on the heels of a whitewash at the hands of an inexperienced Sri Lanka in a three-match shortest-format series in Lahore. 

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Following three defeats in a row, Pakistan’s win-loss tally in the format this year stands at 6-1, and their world no.1 position looks in serious jeopardy. 

The humiliating loss proved out to be a nightmare for Sarfraz Ahmed, who was not only sacked as captain and replaced with Babar Azam but also ousted from the team. 

Pakistan named a revamped squad for the Australia series, bringing back giant paceman Mohammad Irfan and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan. The line-up features four uncapped players – batsmen Abid Ali and Khusdil Shah –seamer Mohammad Musa and wrist spinner Usman Qadir. 

They registered a morale=boosting comprehensive six-wicket win over Cricket Australia XI in the sole warm-up match at Sydney on Thursday. Having restricted the opponents to 134-8 thanks to a three-wicket haul from Shadab Khan, Pakistan rode on Fakhar Zaman’s 39-ball 43 and knocks from skipper Babar (34 off 29) and Haris Sohail (32 off 22) to chase down the target with 13 balls to spare. 

Australia, meanwhile, will be looking to keep the winning momentum going after registering a 3-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka in a recently-concluded T20I series. 

If New Zealand take one game off their ongoing five-match T20I series against England and Australia record 3-0 win in this series, they will replace Pakistan as world no.1 side.

The hosts are unlikely to tinker with the XI for the series-opener that beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the third T20I on Friday. 

Probable XIs:

Pakistan 

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

Australia: 

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

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