Hosts hand ODI debuts to Mahmood and Wasim; Swepson and Ellis debutants for Australia
Pakistan chose to bowl vs Australia
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl against a shorthanded Australia in the series-opening ODI in Lahore, as both teams return to the 50-over format after lengthy absences.
With regular batters David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell unavailable, Travis Head has been named to open, with BBL MVP Ben McDermott to bat at No.3. Marnus Labuschagne and emerging allrounder Cameron Green, who has played just one ODI, have opportunities to impress.
Much like the series-deciding third Test, the pitch is expected to be flat and favour batting amid stifling heat but might offer reverse swing in dewy conditions.
While the white-ball leg of the tour, which comprises two further ODIs and a one-off T20 entirely played in Lahore, is somewhat low-key, there is a lot on the line for both teams who are relatively lowly placed in the World Cup Super League, having played a limited number of 50-over matches.
Australia have won their three series played during the cycle but are seventh after playing just six matches – the last being against West Indies in July. Pakistan are also desperate to make up ground, sitting 10th after a 3-0 defeat to England in the UK last July in their last ODI hitout.
Australia swept Pakistan in a three-match ODI series on their last tour of Pakistan in 1998, capped by a famous rundown of 316 in the series-finale in Lahore in the then second-highest successful chase in history.
Australia: 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Travis Head 3 Ben McDermott, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Marcus Stoinis 6 Cameron Green 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Natham Ellis, 10 Adam Zampa 11 Mitchell Swepson
Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Imam-ul-Haq, 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Khushdil Shah, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Mohammad Wasim Jnr, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Zahid Mahmood
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth