T20 World Cup, PAK vs AUS: Aussies Rely On Mitchell Starc To Stop In-Form Babar Azam In Semi-Final
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is the second-highest run-getter in the 2021 T20 World Cup so far, smashing 264 runs at an average of 66.
- Pakistan and Australia face off in the T20 World Cup semis on Thursday
- Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been in a good run of form
- Australia will hope pacer Mitchell Starc can stop Azam
Pakistan face Australia in the second semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday. Pakistan topped Group 2, winning all five games, including the high-profile clash with arch-rivals India, which gave them momentum in the tournament going forward. Australia, on the other hand, finished second in Group 1 behind rivals England, who handed them their only defeat of the tournament so far. The Aussies, however, haven't looked back since the defeat against England, and are enjoying a good run too.
Pakistan, eyeing a place in the final, will rely on their skipper Babar Azam to deliver the goods with the willow against Australia. Babar is the second-highest run-getter in the ongoing tournament, smashing 264 runs at an average of 66.
For the record, Babar enjoys batting against Australia in T20Is and has been a tough nut to crack when the two sides have met in the shortest format of the game.
In 6 T20Is, Babar has aggregated 268 runs, smashing four half-centuries, at an average of 69.50, at a decent strike rate of 125.22. He has been a man on a mission as he looks to lead his team from the front once again against a well-drilled Aussie bowling unit.
Babar, however, faces a tough task as he will be up against Mitchell Starc who has bowled brilliantly with the new ball in the tournament, so far, picking up 7 wickets in 5 games.
And with the Dubai pitch offering some seam movement in the first innings, Starc will surely fancy his chances against Babar if Pakistan bat first at the Dubai International Stadium in the second semi-final.
Starc also has a brilliant record against Pakistan in the shortest format, having picked 13 wickets in 8 T20Is against the Men in Green.
Interestingly, when these two sides last met in a T20I in 2019, Starc had dismissed Babar for cheap as Australia went on to thrash Pakistan by 10 wickets at the Optus Stadium in Perth.
So, it will be interesting to see how Babar fairs up against Starc this time, especially with a place in the T20 World Cup final up for grabs.