Battered Aussies look to stop the rot

THE prospect of building momentum for a big summer ahead is driving Australia’s T20 squad ahead of their dead-rubber clash with Pakistan in Dubai.

Australia will be playing for pride in the third and final game of the series after Pakistan took an unassailable 2-0 lead with an 11-run victory on Friday night.

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Monday morning’s (EDT) clash with the world’s No.1-ranked T20 side represents a valuable chance for Aaron Finch’s men to continue improving in difficult Asian conditions.

It’s been a tough two games for Billy Stanlake and the Aussies.Source:AFP

It could also be a confidence-booster for the group of eight T20 players who have been picked in the ODI squad to face South Africa starting in Perth on November 4.

Finch, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, D’Arcy Short and Alex Carey are among the players set to switch formats along with paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile, leg spinner Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, who was dropped for the second T20.

Vice-captain Mitch Marsh, who was omitted for the ODI matches and will instead prepare for the Test series against India by captaining Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield, says avoiding a clean sweep would be a big boost for the group.

“I think any time you get a chance to have a win, you gain momentum,” Marsh said.

“It’s often spoken out that playing for Australia, there’s no such thing as a dead rubber. We’re still playing for a lot of pride here.

“It’d be nice to get on that plane tomorrow night having won, and hopefully the one-day boys will be able to start well.”

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Maxwell’s defiant 52 wasn’t enough to prevent Australia from falling short of what had looked like a gettable target of 148 in game two.

Big guns Finch, Lynn and Short, who fell to a bizarre run out decision from the third umpire which left the tourists in disbelief, again failed to post significant scores after Australia were skittled for 89 in the series-opener.

Pakistan have now remarkably won 10 straight T20 series with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed enjoying a perfect run since replacing Shahid Afridi in 2016.

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Originally published as Battered Aussies look to stop the rot

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