File photo of India cricketer Robin Uthappa
Pakistan take on Australia in a blockbuster semi-final clash in Dubai on Thursday as Babar Azam’s men look to continue their unbeaten run in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup. Pakistan started their campaign with a thumping 10-wicket win over arch-rivals India and kept the momentum going with victories over New Zealand, Afghanistan, Namibia and Scotland to qualify from Group 2 of the Super 12 stage as the top ranked team. Next up for them is Aaron Finch’s Australian side, which is peaking at the right time. Australia won 4 of their 5 matches in the Super 12 stage and edged out South Africa on net run-rate to qualify for the last 4.
Both teams are well matched but Pakistan have been the team to beat in this tournament so far and that is what prompted veteran Indian batsman Robin Uthappa to pick them as favourites for the clash.
“Next up is Pakistan vs Australia. Don’t often say this but Pak just might go into this game as favourites. They are the only team yet to lose a game in this World Cup. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing though. Australia on the other hand are dark horses and they always know what it takes to win tournaments, specially the ICC trophies. The openers have been in good form and with a balanced bowling attack, they can beat any team on their day,” Uthappa said in a video posted on social media platform Koo.
Uthappa was part of the India team that beat Pakistan twice in the 2007 ICC WT20. In the first match, that had ended in a tie, Uthappa was one of the three players who hit the stumps as India beat Pakistan via bowl out.
On Thursday, Pakistan will be looking to enter the final of the T20 World Cup for the third time, while Australia will be aiming to reach the summit clash only for the second time. Pakistan lost in the final of the inaugural tournament to India in 2007, but bounced back to win the title in 2009. Australia reached the final in 2010, but lost to arch rivals England.
Both teams contested a titanic semi-final in the 2010 tournament, with Australia beating Pakistan due to a Michael Hussey blitz towards the end.
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