Australia’s Predicted XI against Pakistan: Sportsrush presents before you Australia’s predicted XI for the first Test against Pakistan.
In which will be Australia’s first Test series since the infamous tour of South Africa earlier this year, they are expected to be challenged fair and square on their imminent tour of UAE. In a squad sans Steven Smith and David Warner, inexperience seems to be at the helm.
In their recently concluded tour match against Pakistan A at Dubai, the Australian spinners and their batting unit gave hints of them being prepared for the upcoming challenge. Whether they will be able to replicate such a performance on October 7 against the senior team, only time will tell.
With no more practice matches and just a two-match Test series, Australia don’t have much time to experiment. Below is their predicted XI for the first Test against Pakistan at Dubai:
1. Top-order – After the respective bans on Warner and Cameron Bancroft, Australia had included Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns into the side. Renshaw, highest run-scorer (804 runs in 11 matches at an average of 44.66 and a strike rate of 57.06) during the last season of the Sheffield Shield, has been given the reward of his sound domestic returns.
Burns, on the other hand, had scored 725 runs in seven matches at an average of 55.76 and a strike rate of 60.01. However, he has been dropped for an uncapped Aaron Finch, who had scored 494 runs in eight matches at an average of 35.28 and a strike rate of 82.47. Apparently, Finch’s overall experience has come to his rescue.
Renshaw was hit in the head while fielding in the warm-up game. Assuming he regains fitness ahead of the first Test, Renshaw is all set to open the batting alongside Usman Khawaja. Shaun Marsh, who averaged a scanty 18.87 in his last series in the sub-continent, is highly likely to bat at No. 3 for the visitors.
2. Middle-order – In the last Sheffield Shield season for Victoria and county season for Sussex, Finch has batted in the middle-order (from No. 4 to 6). The 31-year old batsman is likely to resume the same role (No. 4) for Australia as well. Having played 93 ODIs for Australia, Finch has played the fifth-highest ODIs before making his Test debut. He is only a position below Andrew Symonds, who made his Test debut playing 94 ODIs.
Along with Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head, who was the sixth-highest run-scorer (738 runs in eight matches at an average of 46.12 and a strike rate of 74.62) in the last season of the Sheffield Shield, will also make his Test debut and bat in the middle-order. Captain Tim Paine will have to stand tall in terms of leading the side and with his duties in both front and behind of the wickets.
3. Bowling – Mitchell Starc, who surprisingly has a better average (25.96) and strike rate (44) in Asia than his overall figures, will lead the fast bowling department. In the three Test matches that he played in Sri Lanka in 2016, Starc accumulated 24 wickets at an average of 15.16 and a strike rate of 25.8. His team would be expecting him to perform on those lines, if not repeat that performance.
In the warm-up match, Australia had played Michael Nesser ahead of Peter Siddle. In an already inexperienced side, they are likely to include 33-year old Siddle, someone who has played 62 Tests for Australia.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Nathan Lyon’s form could be the deciding factor for Australia in the series. Having picked up bowling figures of 39.1-5-103-8 in the first innings of the warm-up match, Lyon has prepared himself in the best possible manner. Jon Holland, the second spinner, also registered a five-fer (25-6-79-5) in the second innings, which are also good signs for Australia.
A rare case scenario in Australia’s Predicted XI against Pakistan:
If Renshaw fails to recover on time, Finch is the top contender to open the innings with Khawaja. In such a scenario, Australia are all in likeliness of including another debutant in Marnus Labuschagne.
Australia’s Predicted XI against Pakistan: 1) Matt Renshaw 2) Usman Khawaja 3) Shaun Marsh 4) Aaron Finch 5) Mitchell Marsh 6) Travis Head 7) Tim Paine (c & wk) 8) Mitchell Starc 9) Nathan Lyon 10) Peter Siddle 11) Jon Holland
Below are some of the latest Twitter reactions on the Pakistan-Australia series:
A battle between spin
Who will win ???https://t.co/cM3DzsEDTb
— Farwa Ali (@farwaal76888879) October 4, 2018
Pakistan 17 member squad for the two Test Series vs Australia in UAE. pic.twitter.com/k6EfHvza9m
— Mirza Iqbal Baig (@mirzaiqbal80) September 27, 2018
— Shahzad Hussain Awan (@ShahzadAwan505) October 4, 2018
Pakistan Vs. Australia Test Series logo unveiled by Sponsors and Zakir Khan, PCB Director International Cricket Affairs in Gaddafi Stadium Lahore@TheRealPCB #PakvAus @CricketAus pic.twitter.com/KN12ezsmkL
— Ibrahim Badees (@IbrahimBadees) October 4, 2018