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  Pakistan looks to feast on depleted Aussies
PERTH, Jan 17 (INP) Pakistan are ready to capitalize on the absence of match-winning duo Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh and press for a drought-breaking series victory in Australia, according to all-rounder Imad Wasim. Starc has been rested from Thursday’s third one-day international at the WACA Ground, while Marsh has been ruled out of the remaining three games on home soil this summer with a shoulder complaint. Wasim said his team were confident coming off Sunday’s six-wicket win at the MCG, which levelled the series 1-1.The victory was Pakistan’s first in Australia in any format in 12 years. The visitors have the added incentive of knowing a series win would move them ahead of Bangladesh into seventh position on the world ODI rankings. While Wasim acknowledged that Australia’s back-up bowlers, including Billy Stanlake, would still be a significant threat on a bouncy WACA pitch, the 28-year-old said Pakistan had built belief in their winning ability. “Starc is a world-class bowler and Mitchell Marsh is a great all-rounder,” Wasim said. “He’s been a match winner for Australia and Starc as we all know, he’s the best bowler in the world in all the formats. “It’s a good thing for us, but Australia has got good back-up bowlers. “I think they’re going to come hard at us and we’re ready for it.” Wasim has claimed four wickets so far this series. He said taking early scalps, as Pakistan have achieved in the opening two ODIs, was the key to their chances. “These are very good batting wickets,” Wasim said. “It’s hard work. You have to bowl in good areas. I think we bowled really well, to be very honest.” Injured captain Azhar Ali will miss Thursday’s ODI in Perth, but is pushing to return for the fourth match of the series in Sydney on Sunday. INP/AH/LK
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