Pakistan conclude their tour of Australia this week when they play out the pink ball Test match in Adelaide, with both sides looking to come out on top in the second game of the two match series after Australia won the first one.
Pakistan offered up some good stuff at times in Brisbane and will hope their attack can use the pink ball and the conditions to their advantage here. Australia will complete a clean sweep of wins if they win out in this game.
You would have to say Australia were excellent in the first Test match, but then at Brisbane they so often are so it shouldn’t come as any surprise to us. When you think they lost the toss on an absolute road of a pitch, to come out winning by an innings is no mean effort, and was a continuation of the form they have shown throughout the summer thus far. A repeat of that will make them tough to beat here.
Australia were patient with the ball but when an end opened up they made sure they capitalised on it, and then with the bat they put the Pakistan attack under pressure early and were able to feast on it as a result. Things will naturally be slightly tougher here given that the pink ball is in play, but the way Australia are playing right now, you don’t expect that to be an issue that they will be unable to counter.
I wouldn’t say that Pakistan let an opportunity slip away in that first match but they certainly gave up a strong chance to gain the upper hand. Their openers did so well to see off the new ball that it was all set up for them to go on and make a big score, only for a mid-innings collapse to put an end to any chances of that realistically happening. They did show in their second innings what they are capable of but they need to put it all together with the bat.
I’m not sure how we should judge them with the ball. I say that because they will have been dejected from seeing their batsmen fail. If that wasn’t bad enough they had David Warner caught early on in his innings, only to see the bowler overstep and he went on to punish them. If Pakistan can clean things up with the ball and maintain the fighting ability with the bat then there is an ounce of a chance for them here.
Australia have already announced their side for this match and although there were rumours James Pattinson would return having been banned for the opening game, he will miss out because Tim Paine’s men will be unchanged.
Pakistan have also confirmed the majority of their side and they have committed to two changes with Imam-ul-Haq coming in at the top of the order for Haris Sohail while Mohammad Abbas will replace Imran Khan. There is talk that Naseem Shah could be replaced by Muhammad Musa.
There have been 77 previous matches on this ground in the past, three of which have been day-night matches, and Australia have a decent record in them. They have won 40 matches here including all three under lights, drawn 19 and lost just 18. Pakistan have played here on four occasions, all day matches, but have only lost once. They are yet to come out victorious however.
This is always a good cricket wicket over the five days. It is often very good for batting over the first two to three days but the longer the match goes on the more the spinners come into play. The twilight sessions in these day-night matches assist the seamers so there is something for everyone over the course of the piece, which makes for good cricket.
Asad Shafiq made a duck in the second innings in Brisbane but he showed more than enough in the first dig there to suggest that his talents are not inhibited on this tour. I didn’t think they would be in fairness because he is a class act, one who might have underachieved in his career at the minute, certainly away from the sub-continent.
Shafiq made 76 in the first innings in Brisbane and added a catch to that for a total of 86pts and that was without scoring in the second knock. I don’t see him going two innings without scoring here, but even if he does he has proven that he can cover a performance line of 67.5pts. He did it in one knock in Brisbane but with the ball swinging around a bit more I think he’s more in the game in the slips. I expect him to cover this over the course of the match.
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