Pakistan tour of Australia: Preview, Match Schedule, Team Squads and Series Predictions
All you need to know about the Pakistan tour of Australia, comprising 3 T20Is and 2 Test matches.
Pakistan cricket is going through a lot of turmoil right now. Under skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, the team just missed the bus for the semi-finals in the 2019 ODI World Cup and hence the Pakistan team management came under fire.
The result was that both chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and head coach Mickey Arthur had to vacate their positions and Misba-ul-Haq was selected in the capacity of both the head coach and the chief selector, an arrangement pioneered by New Zealand.
Pakistan had something to cheer about with international cricket returning to the country after 10 years. West Indies toured for a series and the World XI came for a couple of matches, but there is nothing like proper international cricket returning. However, 10 of the leading Sri Lankan players expressed their unavailability for the tour and a new-look Sri Lankan side arrived.
After getting comprehensively beaten in the ODIs, the Sri Lankann young guns showed their worth and cleaned up Pakistan 3-0 in the T20I series. The repercussions were that Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as the Pakistan captain and Babar Azam was named the T20I skipper while Azhar Ali was given the charge of the Test side.
Hence, this series is the first time that Pakistan will take the field with a new captain and personnel. Misbah-ul-Haq has also selected a lot of young turks in the side and it would be interesting to see how they fare.
These include all-rounder Kashif Bhatti, who is a right-hand batsman and also bowls slow left-arm orthodox. He is yet to make his Test debut. Right-arm medium pace bowler Imran Khan has played 9 Test matches but played his last Test in January 2017 and has been out of the International circuit for a long time. Middle-order right-hand batsman Iftikhar Ahmed, who also bowls handy right-arm off-break, has only played one Test match back in 2016 against England.
Musa Khan too has made a name for himself in domestic cricket and is yet to make his Test debut. So is Naseem Shah who has hardly played any first-class cricket and is just five matches old, having made his first-class debut in 2018.
There is little doubt that the tour will bring with it a very tough objective of trouncing Australia in their own den, especially given that Steve Smith is back in the side and the pace unit is also firing on all cylinders in Sheffield Shield trophy.
As for Australia, they have been in the past, charged for not taking T20 cricket seriously. But, after a long time, they have a power-packed team and as the hosts of the 2020 World Cup, they will not keep any stone unturned.
Returning to T20Is for the first time since his ban, David Warner will join hands with Aaron Finch at the top of the order. Apart from that, with the likes of Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the bowling line-up, the team is looking really strong and will give Pakistan a run for their money in T20Is.
As far as the Test matches are concerned, Australia have a superior record over Pakistan and beat them comprehensively the last time they toured Down Under. Despite the Ashes win, Australia are coming off a loss against India in their last home Test series but before that, they decimated Sri Lanka by 2-0.
After the return of Steve Smith and David Warner with the bat and Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson with the ball, they would be eager to take the filed and resume normal service.
Here are the predictions for the series:
Winner - Australia (2-1) in T20Is, Australia (2-0) in Tests
Top Run Scorer - Aaron Finch in T20Is, Steve Smith in Tests
Top Wicket Taker - Mitchell Starc in T20Is, Josh Hazlewood in Tests
Let's have a look at the squads of both teams:
Australia T20I squad- Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Pakistan T20I squad- Babar Azam (captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz
Pakistan Test squad- Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah
Let's have a look at the schedule (local time) of the series:
First T20: Sun Nov 3, SCG, 2.30pm
Second T20: Tue Nov 5, Manuka Oval, 7.10pm
Third T20: Fri Nov 8, Perth Stadium, 7.30pm
First Test: Mon Nov 21, Thu - Nov 25
The Gabba, Brisbane, 10:00 AM
Second Test: Fri Nov 29, Fri - Dec 03
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 02:00 PM
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