The Australian skipper Steven Smith has admitted that the remarkable win at the MCG has given his young side enough confidence to step on the gas to win the Sydney Test and register a 3-0 win over Pakistan while contributing as a unit for the national side.
After the rain halted a day and half of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan at the MCG everyone had expected that it’s going to be a likely draw, but Australia sensed a win after breaking the steady partnership between Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq when Peter Handscomb took a sharp catch at short-leg and the win duly arrived.
“It was quite remarkable the way we were able to do that today. Everything just went to plan. It was just one of those days. I’m just incredibly pleased and hopefully, the guys can take a lot of confidence out of how they’ve played this week,” Smith said quoted as saying by ESPNcrincinfo.
On a day five pitch, Australia bundled out Pakistan on 163 inside 54 overs as fast bowler Mitchell Starc bagged four wickets followed by spinner Nathan Lyon’s three –to win the second Test by an innings and 18 runs.
“I thought when we broke the Azhar-Shafiq partnership, the catch that Petey took at bat-pad, I thought we’re in for a good show here,” Smith stated.
Pakistan declared on 443 for 9 in their first innings before Australia scored 624 for 8, which is the highest total at the MCG in Tests as they were 181 ahead of visitors to halt the innings. Mitchell Starc smashed 7 sixes in his 84-run knock before putting Pakistan to the sword with his 4 for 36.
“We’re still a work in progress. We’re a young team. But we want a clean sweep in Sydney, and we need to continue to improve in every aspect. We’ve got to grow and get better each and every day. If we do that hopefully we can get to where we want to get to,” Smith remarked.
Australian bowlers bowled according to the plan to justify Smith’s declaration when the ball did a bit which further was made easy by Pakistan batters playing reckless shots.
“The ball was starting to tail and it was about to get pretty difficult for the batters to start. Everything just sort of worked to plan. It was one of those days.”
Nathan Lyon, who has received some kind of beating in the first innings before claiming 1 for 115 in 23 overs, had turned the match on in the second innings after picking 3 for 33. He has bowled with great control while mixing the deliveries to keep batters in check for most of the time before wreaking the havoc alongside Starc, who was at his best on his day.
Lyon, who’s considered Australia’s most successful Test off-spinner, was praised by his skipper Smith for his worthy performance in the rain-marred Test after criticising the later.
Australia lead three-match Commonwealth Bank series 2-0 with one to go in Sydney.