After winning the T20I series against Pakistan comfortably, Australia will be eager to extend their home domination in the Test series as well. The first of the two-match Test series begins at The Gabba, Brisbane, from November 21.
Pakistan have never been good visitors and their record in Australia is pretty poor – they have never won a Test series here in 11 attempts. In fact, they were thrashed 3-0 on their last Test tour to Australia in 2016-17.
Pakistan’s record in Tests in recent times hasn’t been great either. They lost to 2-1 to New Zealand in the U.A.E and were walloped 3-0 by South Africa. Newly appointed Pakistan Test Captain Azhar Ali will hence have a tough job.
In the batting department, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq would be the ones to watch out for. Both the batsmen made fine hundreds in the practice match against Australia A recently and can have a big impact on this game. Captain Ali’s role too will be important.
Pakistan have named three teenage seamers in their 16-man squad for the Australia Tests – uncapped Musa Khan (17) and Naseem Shah (16), and the 19-year-old pace sensation Shaheen Afridi. This makes things exciting and Afridi, certainly, is going to be a handful on the Gabba pitch. Spinner Yasir Shah might be having a significant impact on the game too.
Australia, meanwhile, will be confident of winning this Test. They retained the Ashes this year and have been in good form across formats.
Tim Paine has led the team ably and has enough ingredients to push Pakistan on the backfoot. Steve Smith, who amassed a record-breaking 774 runs in the 4 Ashes Tests he played this year, will of course be the biggest impact-maker of this match and this series. In Marcus Labuschagne, Australia have discovered another solid top-order batsman. It remains to be seen how David Warner, who had a horror run in the Ashes, performs in the Tests. One feels that he will return to form in the Gabba Test.
Australia’s bowling is dependable. Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, the best fast bowler in the world at the moment, make for a terrific opening bowling pair. James Pattinson is likely to get a match and the Brisbane track will help him. Nathan Lyon, of course, will hold one end up with his off-spin.
Match Betting Tips- Australia vs Pakistan, 1st Test
The pitch at Brisbane – the venue for the 1st Test between Australia and Pakistan – is a true surface that is good for batting but also assists the seam bowlers. The team batting first should enjoy the second session the most. If Australia bats first, they might well post a total in excess of 400. Batting last is always tough on the Brisbane track and the visitors will hence have to be wary.
In the last 5 Tests between Australia and Pakistan, Australia has won 3 matches while Pakistan has clinched only one.
Australia are very tough to beat at home and will make things difficult for Pakistan. The visitors might put up a fight under their new captain young fast bowlers, but Australia are too strong at home and should be backed to win the 1st Test comfortably.