Pakistan v Australia: first Test preview
Pakistan v Australia: first Test preview

Pakistan and Australia are ready to battle it out in the first Test of the two-match series, which will begin in Dubai on Sunday.

Both teams will come into this series on the back of poor performances and will be looking to get back to winning ways.

The home side will be eager to start the series on the positive note after an embarrassing Asia Cup, where they failed to qualify for the final, that too in their home conditions.
In their last five-day assignment, Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit register an impressive 1-1 draw against England in England.

In the batting department, the team will be relying on the likes of veterans Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, whereas in the bowling department, the onus will be on leg-spinner Yasir Shah to produce the goods.

On the other hand, Kangaroos' last five-day assignment was nothing short of a bad dream as they not only lost the series against South Africa, but also the team got involved in an embarrassing ball-tempering scandal which led to one-year ban on former captain Steven Smith, former vice-captain David Warner and nine-month ban on opener Cameron Bancroft.

In the batting department, the team will be depending on in-form Aaron Finch and left-hander Usman Khawaja, whereas in the bowling department, the focus will be on the performance of veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

Key Players:


Aaron Finch – value 8.5 Cr
First in the list of key players feature Australia's debutante Aaron Finch. Even though the 31-year-old will be playing his first game in the five-day format for the Baggy Greens, but has tons of experience at the international level after representing Kangaroos in 93 ODIs and 42 T20Is already. Finch scored impressive 54 runs for the team as well in the only practice game against Pakistan A and has the ability to change the game in one session — if on song. Valued at 8.5, Finch might prove to be the right man to bet on in such batting conditions where batting with the new ball will be relatively easy.

Haris Sohail – value 8.5 Cr
Second in the list of key players feature Pakistan middle-order batsman Haris Sohail. The left-handed batsman was ignored for some odd reason in the recently concluded Asia Cup and will be eager to show his batting capabilities to the team management. The 29-year-old has represented the Men in Green in five Tests so far, where he has scored 328 runs at an average of 36.44 with two half-centuries to his name. Valued at 8.5, Sohail brings much more on the table than his stats shows in the five-day format as he has 11 first-class centuries to his name, and scored runs at an average of 50.77, which shows he is a real batting maestro in the middle-order. That's not it as he can also bowl decent left-arm spin, which can become a useful tool for Sarfraz Ahmed on slow tracks.

Yasir Shah – 9.5 Cr
Third in the list feature leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who is expected to have another impressive outing against the Baggy Greens. The 32-year-old has claimed 20 wickets in five matches against Australia and will be the major threat for the visitors in the upcoming series. Valued at 9.5 Cr, Shah is the best bet you can have, considering his impressive record in the UAE, where he has 79 wickets to his name in just 23 innings at an average of 25.30.

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