See who will need to step up for their teams if they are to emerge victorious.
Today’s clash between Australia and Pakistan has loomed as one of the most important for both sides who have serious ambitions of lifting the trophy at the end of the tournament.
Pakistan suffered a big set-back in their loss to arch-rivals in their first game, and victory today against the Aussies will show they are still a threat, and not to be discounted.
On the back of their form of in the longer forms of the game, there is positive feeling around the Australian team, with several big names players set to put their stamp on the tournament.
David Warner‘s recent form across all formats is as imposing as any batsman in this tournament.
In the ODIs against England in January he made 65, 18 and 71, then followed that in the South Africa Tests with 12, 115, 70, 66, 135 and 145.
Then there was the small matter of 40 from 16 balls in the rain-shortened T20 in Durban. And to cap it off, his only warm-up in Bangladesh brought 65 from 26 deliveries against New Zealand.
This is a man who is striking the ball as well, and as consistently, as he ever has.
If Shane Watson cane fire with bat and ball, then he has a chance to not only be one of the best player for Australia, but one of the best players at the tournament.
his versatility to come on and provide four overs of tight bowling to go with his powerful shot making at the top order make him a dangerous player.
But will his body hold up under the likely workload?
While young leg-spinner James Muirhead is set to get his chance on this tour for Australia, much of the spinning duties will fall to to Brad Hogg.
The 43-year-old chinaman bowler possesses one of the toughest wrong-uns to read in international cricket and his career has enjoyed a second coming in the form of Twenty20 games, where his flight, change of pace, and in the right conditions spin, has seen him take plenty of wickets for Australia and the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League
In 10 T20s against Australia, Saeed Ajmal has collected 18 wickets at 13.22 and has gone for five an over or less every time he has met them in Asia.
In turning conditions Ajmal ties the Australians down; they cannot get him away and the pressure builds wickets. His doosra especially will cause some headaches for batsmen who have spent the summer dealing with more conventional spin.
Ahmed Shehzad has all of the tools to be an excellent opening batsman for Pakistan in T20, but he did not show it in his performance against India to start this year’s tournament.
Twenty-two runs off 31 balls, no matter what the attack is sending his way is not good enough and the 22-year-old will be out to prove why he has had his talent praised since his time in the national under-19 side.
Mohammad Hafeez said it himself after his side’s loss to India that the top-order failed in the first six overs and what better way to show how it’s meant to be done than play a captain’s innings.
Pakistan made 34 runs in the Powerplay, after which they lost the way further by losing two more wickets and adding just 16 more runs till the 10-over mark.
From 50 for 3, Pakistan still had hopes from the remaining batsmen, particularly the pair in the middle – Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik – who were steadying the ship and slightly threatening. But as it happened, the danger was minimal for India.
“You have to set the tone right from the start,” Hafeez said. “But unfortunately one run out at the start of the innings and the pitch – the ball was not coming on to the bat and there was some spongy bounce in it. That’s the reason we couldn’t get that total in the first 10 overs.
Expect the skipper to try and help set the tone against the Australians today.