The third T20I between Australia and Pakistan will be played at the Perth Stadium. These two teams have met each other 22 times in T20Is, with Pakistan winning 13 of those games. In the last five encounters between the two sides, Pakistan have won three, with Australia winning one while one match was washed out. Down Under, the hosts have won both completed matches.
The Perth Stadium surface has a fair bit of pace and bounce but without a lot of lateral movement, batsmen have been able to play their shots freely. The average runs per wicket, balls per wicket and run rate are all moderate when compared to other grounds in Australia.
Ground Details and team Combination
In T20 games since the start of 2018, batsmen have scored at an average of 25.5, while a wicket has fallen every 19.1 deliveries at Perth. The run rate during the aforementioned period is also a middling 8. So, a well-balanced side might be the way to go.
The surface at Perth hasn’t really favoured the batsmen or the bowlers particularly. So, a combination of five frontline batsmen, two all-rounders, one spinner and three pacers might be ideal.
On the bowling front, in the eight matches that have been played here since the start of 2018, pacers have been better than their spin bowling counterparts. They have picked up a wicket every 19.1 deliveries as compared to spinners’ 25.3.
Diving further into different bowling techniques, right-arm pacers have been head and shoulders ahead than the rest of the pack. They have returned 67 of the 90 wickets to fall here, striking every 17.9 balls. Pat Cummins has been rested for the third T20I so someone like Kane Richardson or Billy Stanlake might be a good pick. Pakistan might also look to give youngster Mohammad Hasnain a go.
Pacers have done the bulk of bowling at this venue and it is unlikely that the narrative will change on Friday.
As other Pakistan batsmen have struggled to get going, Babar Azam has looked every bit of comfortable in both matches so far. It’s the consistency that defines Babar more than anything else. He is the highest run-scorer in T20 internationals since the start of 2018 with 931 runs in 21 innings at an average of 54.76. He has 10 half-centuries in this time period, more than anyone else, which gives further proof that Babar will at most times fetch you important points no matter what the conditions.
David Warner’s struggles in the Ashes seem like a forgotten story. He has come back and how! Warner went without being dismissed in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka and although he couldn’t leave much of a mark in Canberra, his brief knock showed that Warner is still very much in form. His consistency in the shortest format of the game this year has been one to note. Warner has slammed 1154 in 24 innings, which includes 13 half-centuries and two centuries. In case, he gets in, Pakistan could once again be in for some serious leather hunt.
Steve Smith’s name might not always come up in the same breath as other T20 power-hitters but there is no denying that his unorthodox style of play is perfect for this format. That was in full bloom in Canberra as he slammed a match-winning 80* to lead Australia to an emphatic win. Smith has been quietly consistent in T20s this year, and while he might not have the hitting abilities like Finch or Warner, when the time arises, he can be counted upon.
Kane Richardson is the leading wicket-taker for an Australian in all T20s since the start of 2018 and even on the international circuit has been consistent. He is the joint highest wicket-taker so far in the series and although has been taken for runs, on a pacy Perth surface can be the X-factor for Australia and your team.
There is no threat of rain in Perth on Friday and we should have a full game at our disposal. The temperature is expected to hover in the mid-30s range but it will get cooler as the evening progresses.
Suggested FanFight Team
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Babar Azam (c), Steve Smith (vc), Iftikhar Ahmed, Alex Carey (wk), Imad Wasim, Adam Zampa, Mohammad Amir, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson