Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: First Test: Australia vs Pakistan Preview

First Test: Australia vs Pakistan Preview

Australia vs Pakistan Preview

Two separate disciplinary issues have overshadowed the build-up to the first Test of Australia's summer of redemption.

Pakistan won't feel there is any blood in the water though as they have plenty of issues of their own to address.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

First Test | Thursday 21 November - Monday 25 November | The Gabba, Brisbane | 02:00

To Win
Australia 1/4
Draw 6/1
Pakistan 13/2

Australia
James Pattinson has been banned for one Test for 'personally abusing' an opponent in the Sheffield Shield. His ban settles at least one selection question with Mitchell Starc to take his place in the XI alongside Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and spinner Nathan Lyon.

Former skipper, Steve Smith had to apologize for showing dissent in the same round of Sheffield Shield matches giving the image-conscious Cricket Australia more headaches.

It will be Pakistan who could have the bigger headache on their hands though as they seek to unlock the secret to keeping the batting savant Smith quiet.

Smith is clearly the number one Test batsman in the world, but Australia are scrambling to find someone to back him up in the top order.

Marnus Labuschagne showed promise in England, but Travis Head and Matthew Wade have work to do to convince selectors they deserve long-term places in the Test XI.

Pakistan
Pakistan find themselves under pressure to produce results as the decision to appoint a coach with no actual coaching experience comes under scrutiny.

Misbah Ul Haq was a popular figure as a player but will find the Pakistan public unforgiving if he cannot find a way to improve the team's fortunes.

Promising young quick Shaheen Afridi is fit to return to the Pakistan lineup having picked up an injury at the Cricket World Cup.

Pakistan will need to find a way to resist the potent Australian pace attack long enough to stay competitive, and in this regard, skipper Azhar Ali will look to lead from the front.

Verdict: Australia 1/4
Australia have had a few hiccups, but Pakistan shouldn't be able to beat them in Brisbane. 

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets. 

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