Australia batsman Glenn Maxwell a major doubt for ODI series opener against Pakistan

Waseem Ahmed 17:12 20/03/2019
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Maxwell is a doubt for the first ODI in Sharjah.

Just days before the start of their ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE, Australia are sweating over the fitness of Glenn Maxwell.

The explosive batsman is now a major doubt for the first ODI scheduled to take place at Sharjah on Friday after being struck with an illness.

Maxwell missed Australia’s training on Wednesday and his potential unavailability for the first ODI will be a headache for the tourists given his recent impressive showings against India.

The right-hander had been instrumental in Australia’s 2-0 clean sweep of the T20 series where he registered a half-century and a quick-fire ton in the two clashes.

While Maxwell is a doubt for the series opener, Australia have been given a boost in the spin department with Nathan Lyon participating in Wednesday’s training session. The off-spinner had been under the weather as well previously, causing him to miss Tuesday’s training.

Lyon’s availability will please Australia skipper Aaron Finch who believes the pitch at Sharjah will aid spinners massively.

“The stats from here all suggest that spin takes a bigger impact. I’ll expect them to spin,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Lyon is back in training for Australia.

Lyon is back in training for Australia.

“We even saw yesterday the training wickets looked how we expect the middle to play. You’re never quite sure though, once there’s a bit of traffic on it they start to slow up pretty quick and spin a bit.”

“I think that will be a feature, especially the two games in Sharjah.”

Finch’s sentiments were echoed by Australia pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile who believes playing two spinners will be the way to go for both sides in the Sharjah clashes. Australia have a strong spin contingent at their disposal with leg-spinner Adam Zampa leading the line.

“Spin will be important for both sides. We’ve got two spinners, I’d be surprised if they don’t both play out here,” the pacer stated.

“They’ve (Pakistan) got quality spinners as well. It will be a good battle,” he added.

The five-match ODI series between Pakistan and Australia will serve as the final bilateral engagements for both sides before they depart for England to participate in the World Cup.

LIKELY XIs

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik (c), Umar Akmal, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abid Ali, Mohammad Hasnain.

Australia: Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch (c), Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh/Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa.

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