Pakistan v Australia World Twenty20 preview

Pakistan's World Twenty20 match against Australia could spell the end of Shahid Afridi's illustrious international career.

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Shoaib Malik said Pakistan owe it to Shahid Afridi to keep their World Twenty20 hopes alive by beating Australia in Mohali on Friday.

Pakistan T20 captain Afridi revealed after the defeat to New Zealand on Tuesday that the match against Australia could be his last at international level.

Even a victory against Australia may not be enough for Pakistan to qualify for the semi-finals following India's dramatic win against Bangladesh, but Shoaib has not given up hope of seeing Afridi lift the World T20 trophy.

"This is going to be Afridi's last World Cup. I respect him a lot, he is like an elder brother to me," said the all-rounder.

"Nobody will be happier than me if we can win this World Cup for Afridi.

"Every player is trying to give 100 per cent. Winning or losing is not in our hands, but each one of us is taking responsibility and trying to give our best."

Australia could still qualify from Group 2 along with New Zealand if they lose against Pakistan, with a showdown against India to come on Sunday.

 

WATSON AIMING TO SIGN OFF IN STYLE

Shane Watson on Thursday announced that he will end his international career after the World T20. The all-rounder said he is "absolutely ready to go" for the crucial matches against Pakistan and India as he aims to inspire Australia to their first World T20 title.

 

WAQAR ON THE BRINK?

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis' position has also been called into question and failure to make it beyond the Super 10 stage could see him relieved of his duties. Waqar was critical of his side following the defeat to New Zealand, saying they were "simply not good enough."

 

SMITH HINTS AT CHANGES

Aaron Finch has been left kicking his heels in Australia's first two Group matches, but his time could come against Pakistan after captain Steve Smith hinted at changes to the side.

Smith said: "It [the batting order] depends on the kind of wickets, what we think at the time is going to be best against certain attacks and it might change in this game. It might change against India as well, so guys are pretty flexible."

 

OPTA STATS

- This will be the sixth time the two nations have met in World Twenty20 history - Pakistan winning three of the previous five encounters.

- Shahid Afridi is one of just five players to bat in 20 or more innings and have a strike rate over 150 in T20 international history. Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch are two of the others.

- Watson needs four more wickets to become the first Australian to 50 T20 international wickets. He has taken four wickets in a match once before (against England in 2011).

- Afridi is just three shy of becoming the first player from any nation to reach 100 T20 international scalps.

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