The ODI series carries extra importance as the matches are part of the ICC Women’s Championship which sees Australia trail leaders New Zealand by two points.
A series victory would send Australia top of the standings while the three Twenty20 international (T20I) matches which follow on October 25-29 serves as valuable preparation for both teams ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies on November 9.
Pakistan captain Javeria Khan expects the tough challenge against an Australian team ranked number one in the world in both formats to stand her team in good stead.
“We have tried to bridge the loopholes and we’ve been really good in bridging the gaps. We just want to play good, consistent cricket,” said Javeria following the unveiling of the series trophy at the Kinrara Oval on Wednesday.
“Playing Australia is valuable exposure. We will focus on playing one match at a time and would like to get the confidence going into the big event and playing to our best.”
Javeria played down the disadvantage of Pakistan’s home series taking place at a neutral venue but derives confidence from here team’s 3-0 T201 series win over Bangladesh prior to arriving in Malaysia.
“We have had a camp here and spent the time preparing. The Bangladesh series was good for us although we lost the ODI match. This team is a mixture of youth and putting such a great performance is an advantage for us. We’ll take the confidence from that and deliver through our skills here and perform to the best of our abilities.”
Pakistan face Australia’s formidable line-up without their most influential player in Bismah Maroof, ranked 16th in the ICC women’s T20I batting rankings, who is out injured.
“There is no replacement for experience, she is our top player and the captain of this team,” said Javeria. “The girls’ have stood really well in her absence and there were times we missed her. We make sure the girls taking her place take the responsibility as an opportunity to play well.
“Good cricket shall be played and if we transfer our potential into performances there is no reason we cannot do well. It’s just about playing consistent cricket.”
In Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, Australia have the world’s top two ranked batters in women’s ODI though Pakistan carry a threat in their bowling through Anam Amin and Sana Mir.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge of Pakistan in conditions we’re not accustomed to while they are a bit more than us. We know we have to play well to get the result we want,” said Australia captain Lanning.
“We’re going out to win every game and we want to play our style of cricket, we want to take the game on and put pressure on the opposition. The game tomorrow is the first step and we’re looking to play well, put the pressure on Pakistan and hopefully get the win.”
Australia need to sweep the T201 series 3-0 to retain their No 1 spot in the rankings with top spot in the Women’s Championship also there for the taking.
“We don’t specifically talk about it, we go out there to win every game and in the ICC Women’s Championship, it does mean every game is important,” added Lanning. “We need to win every game here to keep in touch. We love there is pressure and expectation on the games we’re playing because it means the cricket around the world is really good.”
Australia arrived in Malaysia fresh from a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in a T20I series.
“Playing New Zealand is always a good challenge and we needed to play good cricket too to get the wins. It set us up nicely for this tour. It was nice to get into the swing of things after a break for the winter,” said Lanning.