Australia search for first win of Justin Langer's era and other talking points ahead of their T20 clash with Pakistan

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Langer is searching for his first win as Australia coach.

Less than 24 hours after beating Zimbabwe by 74 runs, Pakistan will take the field once again at the Harare Sports Club when they lock horns with Australia in the second clash of the T20I tri-series.

The match will see the No1 and No3 ranked T20I teams go head-to-head in what is descending into a four-way battle for the top billing.

SARFRAZ’S PAKISTAN ON A ROLL

The 74-run win on Sunday was the 12th win in their last 13 matches for Pakistan who have been the kings of the format for the past year or so. Sarfraz Ahmed’s men have now won eight T20 matches on the bounce, a first in Pakistan’s history.

The men in green have now won 20 of the 23 matches they have played under Sarfraz’s captaincy and bear the look of a well-oiled machine capable of overturning any opposition in front of them.

Their bowling attack has been especially, has been on song and will be tough proposition for Australia to navigate on Monday.

Pakistan are turning into T20 behemoths.

Pakistan are turning into T20 behemoths.

AUSTRALIA SEARCH FOR FIRST WIN IN LANGER’S TENURE

Justin Langer’s tenure as the coach of Australia could not have got off to a more horrific start after his men were resoundingly beaten in each of the five ODIs and sole T20 they played against England.

Attempting to usher in a new era for Australian cricket after the fallout of the ball-tampering saga has not been easy so far for Langer and his men and they will hope that a change of surroundings in Zimbabwe can bring about a drastic change in their fortunes.

Australia were abysmal in their tour of England.

Australia were abysmal in their tour of England.

LIKELY XIs

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat, Sarfraz Ahmed (c and wk), Asif Ali, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Usman Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz.

Australia: D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Swepson, Billy Stanlake.

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Deepak Chahar confirmed to replace injured Jasprit Bumrah for India's T20 series against England

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Chahar has earned a maiden India call up. Image - IPL/Twitter.

India have called up Deepak Chahar and Krunal Pandya into their squad for the Twenty20 international series against England in place of the injured Jasprit Bumrah and Washington Sundar.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also confirmed that left-arm spinner Axar Patel has been brought in as Washington’s replacement for the three-match ODI series which will be played after three T20s. The T20 series begins on Tuesday in Manchester.

On Sunday, the BCCI released a statement that Bumrah will miss the three-match T20I series after suffering a fractured left thumb against Ireland.
There had been reports late on Saturday that Chahar would replace the injured pacer after a fine IPL campaign for champions Chennai Super Kings.
The Rajasthan pacer had been a revelation with new ball for MS Dhoni’s men. The 25-year-old claimed 10 wickets in 12 matches in the IPL this year.
He has been touring England with the India ‘A’ side so far and has picked up 13 wickets in six List A games so far on the tour.
Sundar suffered his  ankle injury before the start of the T20 series against Ireland after injuring himself during a game of football before the first game.
“Sundar suffered an injury to his right ankle during Indian team’s training session at the Malahide Cricket Club, Dublin on June 26, 2018. He subsequently underwent scans and was seen by a specialist. The BCCI Medical Team will continue to monitor his progress,” said BCCI in its media release.

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Pakistan's Shoaib Malik becomes third batsman in T20I history to register 2000 runs

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Malik attained the feat in the T20I tri-series opener against Zimbabwe.

Shoaib Malik wrote himself into history books during the T20I tri-series opener between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Harare on Sunday.

The Pakistan veteran became only the third batsman in history to register 2, 000 runs in the T20I format and the first from his country. The New Zealand duo of Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill are the only previous batsmen to have attained the feat.

Malik reached the landmark during his unbeaten cameo of 37 runs which came off just 24 deliveries in Pakistan’s victory. The batsman has been in great form in the format for some time now and he was on song once again at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

The right-hander struck one six and two boundaries during his 24-ball stay at the crease as he and Asif Ali provided some much needed lusty blows towards the death overs for Pakistan.

The duo collected 61 runs from the last five overs as Pakistan posted a daunting total of 182-4 after being asked to bat first by Zimbabwe skipper Hamilton Masakazda.

Malik’s 2,026 runs in T20I cricket have come from 99 matches at an average of 31.65 and a strike-rate of over 122. In his last 25 innings for Pakistan in the format, the 36-year-old has scored 771 runs at an average of over 70 and a strike-rate greater than 151.

His explosive hitting in the death overs has been a hallmark of Pakistan’s climb to the No1 ranking in the T20 format. His excellent form has coincided with Pakistan’s run of 11 victories in their last 12 matches coming into the tri-series.

Though he is ranked 30th in the latest ICC rankings for T20I batsman, it won’t be a surprise to see Malik make a huge jump when the rankings are next updated after his fine showing in the two preceding T20Is against Scotland.

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