Australia vs Pakistan – 2nd Test Tips and Betting Preview

As is tradition, Australia play a Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this week when Pakistan are the visitors to the iconic Victoria venue for the Boxing Day Test, the second of three in the ongoing series.

Australia drew first blood in Perth and they will be looking to win the series here while Pakistan will be aiming to pull off what would be seen as a major upset and force a deciding match in Sydney next week.


There was a feeling that after a lengthy period of white ball cricket that Australia might have needed a run with the red ball before we see them at their best. I guess they would say they weren’t perfect in Perth but given that they were winning a 50 over World Cup less than a month prior to that, they would certainly have accepted the performance that they put in, especially with the ball. Sometimes bowlers who have been on a white ball diet can struggle when they have to bowl a second and third spell in a day but that wasn’t the case with Australia.

The longer the match went on the better Australia looked and that is understandable given what I have said before. They batted pretty well throughout and the David Warner innings set the match up. You got the feeling Pakistan were always chasing the game from the moment Warner got going so Australia will be hoping for much more of the same and maybe even a slight improvement and if they get that they should have more than enough here.


I think Pakistan went into the series looking to be competitive. They had a warm up match ahead of the series opener so they certainly didn’t fail on preparation grounds but they weren’t as competitive as they would have wanted to be. To their credit, they have had another warm up match ahead of this one, which is almost unheard of these days, and they will hope in slightly more familiar conditions that they can be more competitive here.

That won’t be easy because their bowling looked a little shy of the level in Perth and it has lost some components to injury and it will be interesting to see if they have enough in them to cause Australia some trouble when they are in the field. They will need to because you are always unsure about a Pakistan batting unit in these conditions and we saw why in that opening match where they just couldn’t really build any partnerships.

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Team News

Australia haven’t confirmed their XI for this match yet because of Christmas and the timings and things but nobody is expecting any changes unless someone comes up unwell on the day of the game so it should be an unchanged side for the hosts.

Pakistan were going to be forced into a change for this match as Khurram Shahzad has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour. It turns out they will make more because Mohammad Rizwan will replace Sarfaraz Ahmed and Faheem Ashraf has also been dropped. Hasan Ali and Sajid Khan are expected to come in.


I’m not expecting this to be a high scoring thriller. The forecast for the opening two days is nothing to write home about and there has been plenty of rain in the lead up to the match so unlike in Perth where the wicket was good for batting first up, I think whoever has first use of the wicket with the ball will like the conditions they have and therefore I don’t see a first innings of 487 coming along like it did in that opening game. Australia probably should have been bowled out for around 400 when they were 321-5 anyway.

Even with that monster first innings, there were only 1080 runs in the match and I don’t think we see any more than that here. In fact, I think we’ll see considerably less. The MCG wicket has taken quite a bit of stick after delivering a couple of absolute roads a few years ago and since then the curator has always left plenty in it for the bowlers. The seamers on both sides can get the ball to talk in these conditions so I think we’ll see fewer runs than in Perth. Under 1040.5 runs will do me here.


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