T20 World Cup 2021 semifinal: Pakistan favourite against hungry Australia

The second semifinal in Dubai will also be a reunion for Matthew Hayden-Justin Langer, albeit in different jerseys.

Pakistan's Asif Ali and Shadab Khan celebrate the victory against Afghanistan in Dubai.   -  AP

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, one of the strongest opening batsmen in Test cricket for Australia, will meet each other in different colours in the T20 World Cup semifinal in Dubai on Thursday.

Hayden, in his maiden assignment as the coaching staff in the Pakistan cricket team, will be hoping for a win against Australia, coached by Langer.

Being the only unbeaten side in the tournament, Hayden will be expecting his boys to maintain the form.

Besides, the semifinal could well be touted as a curtain-raiser to Australia’s first tour to Pakistan in 2022 after 24 years.

READ| Women's PSL also on my mind, says PCB chairman Ramiz Raja

Going by the line-ups, it has the making of a humdinger. Aaron Finch and David Warner are the closest competitors to Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the race for the best opening combination of the tournament.

There is little to choose between Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali - all of them have left their footprints in the T20 World Cup.

READ| T20 World Cup: Hayden set for 'unusual' World Cup reunion with friend and rival Langer

The battle of spinners could end up being the decisive factor. Adam Zampa has been a revelation for Australia, being the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Super 12 stage with 11 scalps. On the contrary, despite their ability to stifle batters, neither Shadab Khan nor Imad Wasim has been among wickets consistently.

If Zampa spins his web to keep the Pakistan middle-order - comprising Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali and Mohammad Hafeez - quiet, Australia will have a chance to shine at the biggest stage of the shortest format.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :