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'Valiant approach' the key for Sarfaraz as Pakistan target Australia
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

'Valiant approach' the key for Sarfaraz as Pakistan target Australia

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has focused his attention to employing a fearless approach when his team takes on world champions Australia in the World Cup clash at County Ground, Taunton on Wednesday.

The Pakistan batting, often characterized as meek and circumspect in their strategy, finally clicked in the game against England after being blown away by the Caribbean pace quartet in the previous match which saw them register their second-lowest total in World Cups.

Pakistan were able to amass a colossal total of 348-8 against an impressive bowling attack boasting the likes of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, largely at the back of a significant contribution from Mohammad Hafeez.

Pakistan Australia Trailer

The veteran all-rounder will once again be in the limelight as it was his inspiring knock of 72 in Melbourne in 2017 that helped Pakistan achieve their solitary victory over Australia in the last 14 one-day internationals amongst the two sides.

'We will play aggressively' - Safaraz

Sarfaraz is cognizant of his side's poor record against the Aussies, which also includes a 5-0 whitewash in the United Arab Emirates in March.

"We have not won many matches against Australia but we had not won too many against England either," he said.

"But we have finally beaten England and that has given us a lot of positives.

"We will go with the aggressive approach we showed against England."

Meanwhile, Australia enters into the contest fresh from a bitter 36-run loss to India at the Oval - their first defeat while chasing in a World Cup game since 1999.

"We know Australia will try to come back and with (Steve) Smith and (David) Warner back they are at their best again," said Sarfaraz.

"We respect all our opponents and are ready for them."

'Warner's patchy form in focus'

Australia opener David Warner looked completely out of sorts during his troubled stay at the crease on Sunday versus India. Often cramped for room to free his arms, the left-hander sluggishly trudged his way along to an 84-ball 56 while chasing a target in excess of 350.

Warner returned to international cricket in this World Cup after a one-year ban imposed upon him by the Cricket Australia (CA) for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.

Clearly out of his usual sublime touch, Warner has struggled in this tournament as he managed another snail-paced half-century versus Afghanistan and was bounced out cheaply against the West Indies in the previous games.

Australia captain Aaron Finch, however, is of the view that Warner will soon overcome his slump in form and return to his run-scoring spree.

"They (India) bowled very well to Warner and he needs some more time. He's a world-class player and will get us off to a flyer," said Finch.

Amir's homecoming in Taunton

Mohammad Amir will be raring to uphold his newfound levels of success at the special venue of Taunton, which hosted his return to first-class cricket in England in 2016.

Amir was banned from all forms of cricket for five years for deliberately overstepping the bowling crease during a Lord's Test in 2010, but his comeback to international cricket since the termination of his ban has not been entirely smooth.

Having picked up just five wickets in the past 14 one-day internationals before the World Cup, Amir has somewhat improved upon his dismal form - picking up as many wickets in the past two completed games.

When he takes the field on Wednesday in Taunton, he will be seeking inspiration from his bowling heroics in 2016 at the same ground in a County match against Somerset.

Amir will be teaming up with Wahab Riaz, who himself is rediscovering his lost mojo, as part of a potent Pakistan seam bowling attack.



Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon


Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman