Athletic

PAK vs AUS Test Series 2022: Pakistan, Australia face off in series decider in Lahore

The ongoing Pakistan-Australia Test series has been criticized for its pitches. Experts believe the hosts have adopted a safe approach by constructing flat wickets in order to prevent a series loss. The visitors had a chance to win the second match but were only denied by Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s outstanding effort. Therefore, the third Test in Lahore has turned into a series decider, with a lot on the line. The third match preview of the PAK vs AUS Test series 2022 is discussed in this article.

Third Match Preview of the PAK vs AUS Test Series 2022

The latest Test match in Karachi offered a lot of positives for both Pakistan and Australia. The manner the Australian team played and created a genuine opportunity to upset Pakistan should be acknowledged. On the other side, the Pakistan team should be pleased with how they managed to draw the match and Captain Babar Azam’s brave knock. The decider will be hosted at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore from March 21 to 25. The third Test is slated to begin at 11 a.m. (Bangladesh Standard Time).

Pakistan

Pakistan does have a strong bowling unit given the characteristics of the surface. Spinners might be a serious threat on day three and beyond. Therefore, Pakistan will almost likely deploy two spinners. In addition, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali will be crucial since they both know how to take wickets with the new ball.

Babar Azam’s present form in the batting order will be key for Pakistan. He has the potential to make a huge impact in the series decider yet again. Apart from him, both openers and the veteran Azhar Ali are in fantastic form with the bat. Pakistan should be able to go up against Australia with confidence. The hosts may keep their playing lineup unchanged, although there’s a chance that promising pacer Naseem Shah may be included.

Probable playing XI

Top Order: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain).

Middle-Orders: Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Sajid Khan, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali.

Lower-Order: Nauman Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah.

Australia

The Australian side was disappointed after losing out on defeating Pakistan in the last match. It is better to forget about the previous Tests, and they should be well prepared for the third. Usman Khawaja has been a revelation for Australia since his comeback to the side in the Ashes series. Khawaja will be the biggest source of concern for Pakistan along with Steven Smith and David Warner. Also, Labuschagne has the capacity to surprise the opposition by delivering a superb innings.

In bowling, Australia will almost certainly use two spinners in the Lahore Test, indicating that the playing XI will remain unchanged. Mitchell Starc and skipper Pat Cummins must provide early breakthroughs for Australia to maintain pressure on Pakistan’s batting line-ups.

Probable Playing XI

Top Order: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne.

Middle Orders: Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins (captain).

Lower Order: Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon.

Weather Prediction and Pitch Report

Forecasts indicate that the weather will continue dry for the next five days, with no chance of rain. As a result, the match will take place in a hot and sunny environment. The pitch is likely to stay the same in the Lahore Test. Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam feels that spinners would be useful throughout the match. The toss-winning captain is likely to bowl first if the surface offers anything for the quicker bowlers in the early morning of day one.

Pakistan vs Australia Third Test 2022: Gaddafi Stadium Stats

Lahore’s famous Gaddafi Stadium is the venue for the third match of the Pakistan vs Australia Test series 2022. Let’s take a look at some of the ground’s interesting Test cricket statistics.

Test stats: Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore

Matches Played: 40 | Result (win): 18 | Result (Draw): 22 | Highest Innings: 329 (Inzamam-ul-Haq) | Best Bowling (Innings): 9/56 (Abdul Qadir) | Highest Team innings: 699/5 | Lowest Team Innings: 73

Pakistan’s record at the Gaddafi Stadium: Played: 40 | Win: 12 | Lost: 6 | Draw: 22

Australia’s record at the Gaddafi Stadium: Played: 5 | Win: 1 | Lost: 1 | Draw: 3

Bottom Line

Both teams will aim to win this Test in order to clinch the series. Interestingly, Australia and Pakistan are currently in first and second place in the ongoing ICC Test Championship points standings. Therefore, winning the match will help them improve their Test Championship points table. In light of this, both teams will strive to win the series decider to secure the PAK vs AUS Test series 2022.

Source: United News of Bangladesh