Australia vs Pakistan: Preview and Prediction

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Pakistan will look to bounce back to winning ways after a thrashing against India

The 18th match of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will see two teams with similar fortunes taking on each other. Pakistan and Australia, who were expected to have a good campaign but have not delivered recently, will meet at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

Pakistan started their journey in the competition with back-to-back defeats, although those were against comparatively weaker teams. Up against arch-rivals India, they suffered a monumental collapse and will hence be determined to make a strong comeback. In the points table, Pakistan is placed in the fourth position.

On the other hand, Australia starts every ICC competition as favorites, given that they are the five-time champions of this tournament. But they have had a poor start, where they have won only one of their first three matches. The Aussies are currently eighth in the standings.

What have they done so far?

Australia started their campaign with a defeat against India in Chennai. Though their bowling caused the hosts a few problems, a poor batting display was the main reason behind the six-wicket loss. Their second defeat to South Africa was even worse, as both the batting and bowling units failed to perform.

Bowling first, they conceded 311 runs, while Pat Cummins’ team could only score 177 in the run chase, resulting in a 134-run loss. All of that being said, they have been able to turn things around by handing Sri Lanka a five-wicket defeat in their last match.

Pakistan was expected to have it easy against the Netherlands, although it did not quite happen like they would have expected. The Dutch posed a challenge or two, but Babar Azam’s boys were able to get an 81-run win. The task was even bigger in the second match against Sri Lanka, but the green shirts managed to chase down a huge target of 345 runs.

But all of their plans and aspirations collapsed like a pack of cards when they met India. Handed a 7-wicket loss by the rivals, the Pakistani team will look to win back their fans with a strong showing against the Aussies.

Head to Head Record

There can be no competition when it comes to head-to-head records, as Australia hold the upper hand by quite some margin. Of the 107 ODI meetings between the two teams, the Aussies have won 69 games while Pakistan has won 34 matches. One game was tied, while three matches did not yield a result.

The last ODI match between the two teams, which was in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium in 2022, saw Pakistan win by 9 wickets. Mohammad Rizwan scored a century in that match, while Imam-ul-Haq scored 89 runs.

Key Players

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia):  Marnus Labuschagne was not even a part of Australia’s preliminary squad, but Ashton Agar’s unavailability opened up an opportunity for him. Now, he is turning out to be the only trump card in an unimpressive Australian team.

Marnus Labuschagne is proving to be Australia’s batting kingpin

With 113 runs, which have come at an average of nearly 40, Labuschagne is currently leading the run-scoring charts for Australia. He scored 27 runs on a difficult Chennai pitch against India, before following it up with a 46 against South Africa and a 40 against Sri Lanka. Now, Labuschagne will look to convert the starts into a personal milestone.

Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan):  Although the focus is always on skipper Babar when it comes to the Pakistan team, Rizwan has by far been the best Pakistani player so far in this competition. He is currently his team’s leading run-scorer with 248 runs, which came at a strike rate of over 90.

Rizwan played a crucial knock of 68 runs against the Netherlands when his team was struggling, while against Sri Lanka, he played a match-winning knock of 131 runs despite being in physical agony. He also was one of Pakistan’s better batters against India, scoring 49 runs.

Predicted XIs

Australia: Travis Head/Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins ©, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam ©, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan/Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.


Given the current state of both teams, it is difficult to predict a winner. However, Australia will start as favourites for a combination of reasons. Firstly, the pitch in Bengaluru is known to be a batting heaven, and unlike Pakistan, Australia has some big hitters likes of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. 

Moreover, the head-to-head records also favour Australia, while they will be high on confidence after beating Sri Lanka.