Thursday, November 11, 2021
Web Desk

Pakistan vs Australia: Brian Lara, Mike Atherton back Babar Azam XI to win semi-final

"They've got the best attack and I think they'll win the semi-final, says former English skipper Mike Atherton

Web Desk
Former English captain Mike Atherton and ex-West Indian cricketer Brian Lara.
Former English captain Mike Atherton and ex-West Indian cricketer Brian Lara.

Confident Pakistan have got the backing of former cricket legends Brian Lara and Mike Atherton, who have predicted the Men in Green will win the semi-final match against Australia tonight. 

Undefeated Pakistan will take on the Kangaroos today in the second T20 World Cup semi-final at the Dubai International Stadium. Whoever wins, will play New Zealand on Sunday for the T20 World Cup glory.

Cricket pundits are of the view that the Babar Azam-led side is in the best form and hence, are likely to reach the final of the ICC tournament.

Former West Indian great Brian Lara, in a social media message, predicted that the Green Shirts will emerge victorious in today’s game.

“My Prediction - #Pakistan,” Lara tweeted.

He said that Australia is a very dangerous team, they've got a strong lineup that can beat anyone but Pakistan have the bowling and batting prowess to keep them at bay and make the finals.

Meanwhile, former English captain Mike Atherton backed the Pakistani team, saying they have got the best and most varied bowling attack in this competition.

"I'm going with Pakistan.”

Head to head

The Pakistan team has been unbeaten in 16 consecutive matches on UAE soil as the Green Shirts have not lost even a single T20 here since 2016. But, this time around, it is a knockout match of the ICC World Cup. 

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that Pakistan do not have an enviable record against the Kangaroos in the ICC event's knock-out contests.

Both Pakistan and Australia have locked horns with each other in knockout matches of ICC events in any format four times before. And, it was Australia that got the better of Pakistan in the 1987 World Cup semi-final, the 1999 World Cup final, the 2010 T20 World Cup semi-final and the 2015 World Cup quarter-final.

Both teams have clashed 17 times in ICC events; of them, Australia won 10 times and Pakistan seven times. Six of these matches were for the T20 World Cup and both teams won three times each.

Pakistan and Australia both played a total of 23 T20 matches, with Pakistan winning 13 of them and Australia nine others. Eight of these matches were played on UAE soil. Of them, Pakistan won six matches.

It is also worth mentioning here that Pakistan defeated Australia in the final of the Austral Asia Cup in 1990 in the UAE.