It was business as usual for Australia at their fortress ‘Gabba in the first Test. A comprehensive win by an innings to spare gives them a 1-0 lead over Pakistan. The teams now move to Adelaide for the day-night Test starting on Friday.
Unfortunately for the visitors, there won’t be any let down of intensity. Australia have won all five day-night Tests they have played so far. That includes three at this venue. Pakistan have their share of ‘pink ball’ experience, but are currently battling a lot of demons.
Australia got a pleasant surprise when David Warner overcame his Ashes nightmare with a century. Marnus Labuschagne got his long-overdue century and took the game away from Pakistan. The pace trio then enjoyed their work and gave no chance for the visitors to comeback.
Labuschagne is in such fine form that he should be among the runs once again. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc should enjoy bowling under the lights. Even if Nathan Lyon wasn’t required in the first match, this could be his chance to claim a bagful.
Poor performances with both bat and ball in the first innings proved to be Pakistan’s undoing. Although there was an improvement in the second knock, it was too little too late. Pakistan will now to make quick changes to their playing XI to remain competitive.
Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan played their hearts out and should be good fantasy team selections. While Shaheen Afridi got some wickets and confidence, the young pacer Naseem Shah impressed. However, Shah’s fitness could be an issue and will be risky pick if selected.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Marnus Labuschagne has been having quite a year. After marching into the Ashes squad and then proving himself, the young batsman has a chance to pile up more runs.
Babar Azam has shown the full range of his potential in the second innings. If he can build up on that, Pakistan will remain competitive enough..
Mitchell Starc is lethal when the ball moves around. Especially for the middle and lower order batsmen. He could fancy his chances of a bagful under the lights.
Australia: 1 David Warner 2 Joe Burns 3 Marnus Labuschagne 4 Steve Smith 5 Travis Head 6 Matthew Wade 7 Tim Paine (C & WK) 8 Pat Cummins 9 Mitchell Starc 10 Nathan Lyon 11 Josh Hazlewood
Pakistan: 1 Shan Masood 2 Azhar Ali (C) 3 Imam-ul-Haq 4 Babar Azam 5 Asad Shafiq 6 Iftikhar Ahmed 7 Mohammad Rizwan (WK) 8 Yasir Shah 9 Shaheen Afridi 10 Mohammad Abbas 11 Mohammad Musa
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