POSTED AT 02:49 PM 27-03-2019
Aussies close to equalling 2015 streak
Australians on a role in one-day cricket.
On the cusp of Australia's best ODI winning streak since lifting the World Cup in 2015, Justin Langer's team are determined to keep the foot down.
Written off as World Cup contenders at the start of the year, Australia turned the corner in India and have now recorded five wins on the trot.
They recently became the first Australian outfit to win a five-match ODI series after trailing 0-2, having shocked Virat Kolhi's team with bat and ball in India.
Aaron Finch then made light work of two tricky targets in Sharjah, posting back-to-back centuries to give his team a 2-0 lead in the current five-match series against Pakistan.
The visitors, who could be boosted by the return of rested spearhead Pat Cummins, can take an unassailable 3-0 series lead if they win in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Australia haven't strung together six consecutive one-day victories since 2015, when a nine-match winning streak included their MCG mauling of New Zealand in the World Cup final.
“It's been building, building, building but we can't get relaxed,” in-form opener Usman Khawaja said.
“If we keep doing the basics well and playing the way we did those last two games and playing the way we did the back end of India, it would be pretty hard to beat us.
“We want to be really clinical and we've got to keep doing it over and over again, winning's a habit so hopefully we can make it a habit.”
Australia haven't won consecutive ODI series overseas since 2016.
“We can't take it easy,” Khawaja said. “We can't think that we've done all the hard work and that we're fine now.”
Australia named an unchanged XI for the second clash with Pakistan but Jhye Richardson's dislocated shoulder means they will now be forced to change a winning side.
Cummins, Australia's leading wicket-taker in the recent series against India, has been on restricted duties since landing in the UAE a week and a half ago.
“He's champing at the bit to get back bowling, so I think his holiday here in Dubai is over,” Nathan Lyon quipped.
Langer and selectors may also be keen to give Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson a chance to shine.
Behrendorff and Richardson were set to be left out of Australia's World Cup squad but they could yet make the cut depending on how Richardson, Mitchell Starc (torn pec) and Josh Hazlewood (back) recover from injuries.
“All the bowlers here that aren't playing are very good bowlers,” Khawaja said.
“I feel for Jhye but I think we're in a good place (to cover his absence).”