Australia have announced an unchanged playing XI for the pink-ball Test against Pakistan which starts tomorrow in Adelaide. A debut for Michael Neser or a return for James Pattinson into the playing XI was only possible if Tim Paine had rotated the pacers but that wasn’t the case. Benched Cameron Bancroft and Pattinson have been released to play Sheffield Shield.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins will perform the pace bowling duties with Nathan Lyon sole spinner in the playing XI.
Playing his first Test home after more than 20 months, David Warner ended his poor run and scored 154. Joe Burns made an impressive comeback in the Test side with a 97 but was denied a century by Yasir Shah. Marnus Labuschagne continued his magic run with 185 to lead Australia to a score of 580.
Batting first, Pakistan survived a wicketless first session on day 1 but suffered a slump in last two sessions, losing all ten wickets. Their batting woes continued in the second innings and they were bowled out for 335, losing the match by an innings and five runs.
Babar Azam’s 104 did come as a relief for the visitors, who look to turn the fortunes in Adelaide. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan also stepped up with his 95.
Mohammad Abbas, a surprise exclusion for the first Test, looks likely to replace one of the pacers in the squad. Pakistan dropped a big surprise by going in with an inexperienced pace attack. Abbas also has an experience of 14 Tests but he has proved his credentials in England and unsupportive UAE pitches.
Imam-ul-Haq was also a surprise exclusion for the opening Test but the resistance from the opening batsmen in the first session will certainly see an unchanged batting order. If Pakistan lose this Test match, they will return empty-handed – losing all four completed international matches on the tour.