Can Pakistan cause another Cup upset?

HISTORY suggests Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was spot on when he said Pakistan's greatest strength was its unpredictability.

Right from when the team came from nowhere to win the World Cup in Australia in 1992, it has been difficult to get a gauge on how the team would play its next game.

Australia takes on Pakistan in a quarter-final in Adelaide today, with an injury-hit Pakistan the clear outsider.

In 1992 its tournament looked gone after three losses - including one against minnow Zimbabwe - in the pool stages.

But after its slow start, inspirational captain and all-rounder Imran Khan pulled his squad together in a tiger T-shirt, and told his men to play like "cornered tigers".

From then on Pakistan was unstoppable, with legendary left-arm quick Wasim Akram ripping through England in the final at the MCG.

In 1999 it beat Australia by 10 runs in the pool stages, before being over-run by the Aussies by eight wickets in the final at Lord's.

In 2003, the team didn't even make the Super Sixes stage after winning just two of its pool games, a brutal Andrew Symonds century against Pakistan in its first game setting the team up for an underwhelming campaign.

In 2007, Pakistan again missed the playoffs after suffering a shock loss to Ireland, with question marks arising over the team's commitment to win.

Tragically, its coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room the next day.

In the 2011 Cup, the team upset Australia by four wickets, ending the three-time reigning champion's run of 34 unbeaten games at the tournament.

Watson played in that game, no doubt leading to his comment earlier this week that you were never quite sure what you would get from the men in green.

With a fit-again James Faulkner back in the Aussie team, Watson will keep his place for this game ahead of the injury-prone Mitchell Marsh after his impressive 67 from 41 balls against Sri Lanka on March 8.

Australia captain Michael Clarke said Pakistan's line-up was similar to his own team, with power hitters at the top of the batting order, and experience through the middle.

Ahmed Shehzad (63) and Sarfraz Ahmed (101 not out) fired in the team's last game against Ireland.

Clarke also said Pakistan's left and right-arm quicks would be tough to face on an Adelaide deck that has provided more pace and bounce this summer than in previous years.

That situation is likely to see Patrick Cummins take the final bowling spot ahead of Josh Hazlewood.

Likely Australian XI: A Finch, D Warner, S Smith, M Clarke, S Watson, G Maxwell, J Faulkner, B Haddin, M Johnson, M Starc, P Cummins.



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