Karachi pitch to offer promising contest between bat, ball

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After a boring draw on a dead Rawalpindi pitch, the wicket in Karachi looks to be the one where one can expect an even contest between bat and ball and hope for a result in five days of second cricket Test which will start at National Stadium on Saturday.

Australia and Pakistan are set to make changes in final XI in second Test that will begin from tomorrow. Australian captain Pat Cummins has already confirmed that Mitchell Swepson will be making his Test debut, replacing Josh Hazlewood in the squad. He along with Nathan Lyon are set to increase Australia’s spin strength.

Swepson will be the first specialist leg-spinner to play a Test for Australia since 2009. Pakistani captain Babar Azam also indicated some changes, though didn’t confirm any. It is, however, expected that Faheem Ashraf and Hassan Ali are likely to make their way to the final XI.

Both the sides had two intense training sessions before the match and are hoping for a contest that can produce a result after five days of cricket.

They’ll be high on confidence as well after how the team did against Australia in Rawalpindi Test. A draw, though, but showed Pakistan’s dominance with bat and ball both. Pakistan had lost only 4 wickets in two innings of batting, all four in first innings, while the bowlers had managed to take all 10 wickets of Australia. Runs scored by Abdullah Shafique, Imam ul Haq and Azhar Ali will surely give Babar Azam a great confidence going into the game.

History also suggests Pakistan will be hard to beat in this match, with the hosts having won 23 and lost just two of the 43 Tests they have played at the National Stadium. Australia is yet to win a Test at this venue. They’ve played eight and lost five against Pakistan.

They last match played in Karachi in 1998 will be remembered by many for Shahid Afridi’s five wicket haul on debut. However, the game ended in a draw. Pakistan will certainly look to keep their record intact of remaining undefeated against Australia at National Stadium.—APP

 

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