Connect with us

Cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test Preview

Written by Rick John Henry for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!


Pakistan vs Australia | Wednesday 22 October | Dubai | 08:00

pak2Bvs2Baus2B1st2Btest2BintroA resurgent Australian Test team travel to the UAE to face off against their nomadic counterparts, Pakistan. With Saeed Ajmal missing Pakistan find themselves in an obvious predicament, tantamount to a late 1990s/mid-2000s Australian team without spin magician Shane Warne. It is a major gulf that has granted Australia some semblance of advantage. That being said, the Australians slid to a comprehensive loss to Pakistan A in their warm-up fixture amid the threat of spin and reverse swing, two forces that are sure to dominate the upcoming Test series. They are also two forces that have conspired to thwart recent Australian Test sides.

pak2Bvs2Baus2B1st2Btest2B1To Win
Pakistan 47/10
Draw 5/2
Australia 13/20

Pakistan
Coach Waqar Younis has stated that Pakistan will be out to exploit the weaknesses shown by Australia in the recent warm-up. The problem for Younis is that he has been forced to rebuild his Test attack almost from scratch. Seamers Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz have been sidelined with injury, while Saeed Ajmal continues to wander cricket’s illegal action netherworld. Second spinner Abdur Rehman has also been left out as he is considered not to be match-fit. Unknowns Yasir Shah (leg spin) and Imran Khan (seam) have received call-ups, while the likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Zulfiqar Babar alleviate the spin concerns. In the batting department, Taufeeq Umar makes a comeback, having last played a Test in 2012, while Haris Sohail makes the squad following his unbeaten 103 in the warm-up fixture with Pakistan A. Opener Khurram Manzoor has been omitted as well as Umar Akmal, leaving the order likely to be Hafeez and Shehzad to open, followed by Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq. The last in the group comes into the first Test in good form, striking an unbeaten 108 for Pakistan A in a bright innings full of confidence.

Australia
pak2Bvs2Baus2B1st2Btest2B2The tourists are confident that a few key players will shake their injuries ahead of the first Test. Michael Clarke, Mitchell Marsh and David Warner all have concerns but expect to be in the starting line-up come Wednesday morning. Alex Doolan, who South African fans will remember from a century on debut against the Proteas, struck a compelling century in the warm-up game that shows a large improvement in his ability against the spinners. He should take up the number three role, with an out of form Chris Rogers opening the innings with Warner. Clarke, Marsh and Steve Smith look set to make-up the middle-order, the latter in particular in sparkling form across formats. Steve O’Keefe impressed by taking three wickets in the first innings of the warm-up fixture and will be pushing for a debut alongside Nathan Lyon in a spin-twin pairing geared for the wicket in Dubai. Despite Australia having a plethora of bowling options, the likely Test attack contains Mitch Johnson and Peter Siddle as the primary seamers and Mitchell Marsh as the bowling all-rounder, followed by the two spinners. Spin twins did the job for Australia in their last Test victory over Pakistan, which came at Lord’s in July 2010. Unlikely characters in Marcus North and Steve Smith did the damage, proving the value of spin in both camps.

Venue
Dubai generally has more pace and carry than expected, but this shouldn’t last for an extended period of time. Spinners have collected the majority of the wickets at the ground and this Test should prove no different. Additionally, with Australia having a perceived weakness against the turning ball, the pitch should be prepared accordingly. The weather forecast is hot, with no rain expected.

VERDICT: Pakistan 47/10
I think the bookies have it wrong here and suggest you climb all over this price. While it is obvious that Pakistan are fielding a weaker side than they would like, it is often you find incredible individual performances when chances are given. Additionally, Australia folded horribly against spin and reverse swing in the second innings of the warm-up fixture and I wouldn’t bet against it happening again. I sense an upset here. Get on.

Disagree with our tipster? Let us hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

More in Cricket

Official Partners

HOLLYWOOD SPORTSBOOK IS A LICENSED BETTING OPERATOR. HOLLYWOODBETS SUPPORTS RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING. NO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS ARE PERMITTED TO GAMBLE. WINNERS KNOW WHEN TO STOP.SOUTH AFRICAN RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING FOUNDATION TOLL FREE COUNSELLING LINE 0800 006 008 OR WHATSAPP HELP TO 076 675 0710.