Pakistan vs Australia T20 World Cup 2021 semis: Babar Azam’s side have been brilliant in powerplays, says Aaron Finch

It is not often that the Australian cricket heads into a World Cup knockout game as an underdog. But come Thursday (November 11), Aaron Finch’s team will be the underdogs against Babar Azam’s side in the second semifinal of the T20 World Cup 2021.

While Pakistan are heading into the last four stage having won all of their Super 12 stage, including wins over India and New Zealand, Australia lost comprehensively to England before making the semis. Finch believes Pakistan’s approach in the ‘powerplay overs’ has been key to their success.

“Pakistan are in great form at the moment and played great cricket to remain unbeaten through the Super 12 stage. Pakistan approach in the powerplay overs – both batting and bowling has been crucial to their success,” Finch said during the virtual media interaction ahead of the second semifinal on Thursday.

“Doing well if the powerplay with both bat and ball are essential to success in this world. Shaheen Shah Afridi has been in brilliant form but getting runs on the board will be beneficial for both teams in a knockout game,” the Australian skipper felt.

Like Pakistan, Australia will also rely on their pace bowling trio of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins although leg-spinner Adam Zampa has been one of the leading wicket-takers for Finch’s side with 11 scalps in the T20 World Cup.

“Pakistan spinners like Imad Wasim in the powerplay overs and Shadab Khan in the middle-overs have been impressive but Zampa has been getting good players out throughout this tournament. Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc have been excellent for us and I am very happy how they have kept up the pressure on the opposition,” Finch said.

Australia’s path to the semis has been made simpler with the return to form for Finch’s opening partner – David Warner. After a modest IPL 2021, where Warner was benched by the Sunrisers Hyderabad due to his poor form, the Aussie southpaw has bounced back brilliantly – scoring 187 runs in five matches with two fifties and a strike-rate of over 144.

“I was never worried about Warner’s form. He’s one of Australia’s all-time great players. The two halves of the IPL 2021 were months apart, so it was not a fair indication of a player’s form. But it is great to see the best of him again,” Finch said about Warner.

Pakistan side will also have Australian aide in their support staff with former opener Matthew Hayden helping Babar Azam & Co. as the batting coach. “I have seen Hayden around the team hotel since yesterday. It is great to see some Aussie legends crossing over and helping out other sides as well,” Finch said.

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Sagar Biswas

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