Battle Against Shaheen Afridi Will Be Crucial, States Aaron Finch

Australia will take on the Babar Azam-led Pakistan in the second semi-final on Thursday. Pakistan have won all the matches in Group 2 to become the first team to book a berth in the semi-final.

On the other hand, Australia won four of five games and pipped South Africa to qualify for the knockouts on a better net run rate in Group 1.

Battle against Shaheen Afridi will be crucial: Aaron Finch

Shaheen Afridi has been phenomenal with the ball for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup so far, and Finch believes that the lanky pacer will be a big challenge for his side in the Powerplay overs.

“I think what we have seen through the course of the tournament is how important the powerplay is both batting and bowling. I think the stats around the middle and death overs are pretty similar throughout.

“The powerplay definitely holds the key. Shaheen Shah Afridi has been in good form for Pakistan; that will be a crucial battle in the game,”  Finch said during the virtual pre-match press conference.

Only 15 of 42 matches in the T20 World Cup have been won by a team batting first, and Australia have won all of their matches while chasing.

Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi. Credits: Twitter

The trend of winning the toss to have the advantage of the chase has become important, especially on the sluggish tracks of the UAE.

But Finch believes that even if Australia bat first, they have the plans and potential to win.

“I believe getting runs on the board, especially in knockouts, can be really beneficial. We have talked about it. We are confident that we can win if we happen to bat first,” Finch said.

Pakistan has been in good form: Aaron Finch

Pakistan and Australia have met 23 times in T20Is, with the Asian side holding the edge with 13 wins. Both teams have won three games in T20 World Cup, and this will be their seventh time in the showpiece event.

Finch said that one shouldn’t look much into the history and called Pakistan a completely different opposition from what they have played in the past.

“I think Pakistan has been in good form, they have won five matches, and they have played good cricket throughout. I do not think you can read too much into history,” Finch asserted.

Aaron Finch and Babar Azam
Aaron Finch and Babar Azam (Credits: Twitter)

“They have a completely different team to what we have played in the past. In terms of Pakistan spin, they have had good success with Imad Wasim bowling in the powerplay. Shadab has also been excellent,” he added.

Australia will take on Pakistan on Thursday in the second semi-final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2021: Australia Can Be The Best In The World, But England Are Leading The Way At The Moment – Justin Langer

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