After registering the six-wicket victory in the second One-Day International at the MCG on Sunday and Pakistan leveled the ODI series at 1-1, which provided a very much needed boost to the hosts. Pakistan ended a long-running losing streak on the Australian soil against the hosts.
Since January 2005, it was the first superb victory of Pakistan over Australia on the Australian soil, which ends a streak of 16 consecutive losses of Pakistan across the formats.
Pakistan hazardously perched at No. 8 position in the ICC One-Day International rankings with only the top eight teams certain an automatic berth to the 2019 World Cup due to which a victory is of major importance for the Pakistan cricket team.
Pakistani left-arm spinner Imad Wasim said that the team was much better than that poor ranking. On Tuesday, Imad told the media in Perth, "I personally believed before coming to this tour that we could beat any team in the world in shorter formats because our team combination is very good. Number eight in the world ... that's the ranking, but our side is better than that. If you don't believe you can beat any opposition, there's no point coming here. We are here to beat them. We are here to play good cricket. We are here to fight.”
During the opening match of the ODI series in Brisbane Azhar Ali been suffering a hamstring strain, as a result, the skipper has been ruled out of the match, which is a major blow to their chances but could return for the fourth ODI in Sydney, which starts on Sunday (January 22).
With the absences of Australian spearhead Mitchell Starc and injured all-rounder Mitch Marsh, Pakistan extended their hopes in the series.
Wasim picked up 4 wickets in the opening ODI game against Australia, who has been a key contributor for Pakistan and believed the team could take advantage of on the hosts’ tired team.
He further added, "Starc is a world-class bowler and Mitchell Marsh is a great all-rounder. He's been a match-winner for Australia and Starc as we all know, he's the best bowler in the world in all the formats. It's a good thing for us, but Australia has got good back-up bowlers. I think they're going to come hard at us and we're be ready for it.”
Pakistan has been able to cut down through Australia's top-order in both of the opening matches and will need to repeat that at the WACA if they are to take a series lead.
According to Wasim. "These are very good batting wickets. It's hard work. You have to bowl in good areas. I think we bowled really well, to be very honest."