After a dominating performance by Australia in the first test in Brisbane, the series moves to Adelaide for the day/night Test. Australia’s depth with both bat and ball showed in the series opener, however Pakistan showed enough fight in the second innings to give themselves plenty of hope of causing an upset in the second Test. Scarily there is also plenty of improvement left in the Aussies, with Steve Smith only scoring 4 and Nathan Lyon underperforming with the ball. Pakistan will certainly bring Mohammad Abbas after he was surprisingly left out of the Pakistan side in the first Test. The changing conditions of the day/night test will provide an entertaining spectacle.
Fri Nov 21, Adelaide Oval, 2:30pm (AEDT)
Steve Smith’s concussion in the second test at Lord’s seemed like a horror story at the time, however it might become one of the most important events in Australian cricket – for a positive reason. Marnus Labuschagne came in as the concussion substitution and scored 538 runs at an average of 67.25 in the following eight innings, becoming Australia’s second best batsmen behind Smith, in an incredible rise from obscurity to a lock at number three for Australia in test cricket. Labuschagne scored his first Test century at the Gabba in the first Test, a massive 185 that put Pakistan to the sword at his home ground. Labuschagne is in a rich vein of form and Pakistan didn’t have any answers for Labuschagne at Brisbane, and his technique has shown that he can produce scores against the swinging ball which will be important in the day/night Test. At $5 on SportsBet, Labuschagne provide excellent value to be Australia’s leading run scorer in the first innings.
Mitchell Starc was the leading wicket taker in the first innings at the Gabba, taking 4/52 in a return to form after falling out of favour with the selectors during the ashes series. Starc will be looking to continue his form at a ground where he’s had plenty of success. In day-night matches at the Adelaide Oval, Starc has taken 17 wickets at an average of 18.76 in three Tests. Starc also took seven wickets when Australia played Pakistan in a day/night Test at the Gabba in 2016. Starc knows that one poor test could see him on the outer, he’s relishing this pressure and thriving on home soil where he’s had sustained success. If Starc gets a chance with the new ball under lights against the Pakistani top order, he could destroy Pakistan’s chances of victory within one spell. At $3.75 with SportsBet, an in-form Starc is a great selection for first innings most wickets.
Many questions surrounded who would take the gloves for Pakistan following former captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s axing, 27 year old Mohammad Rizwan has answered the call brilliantly. Rizwan showed plenty of grit and determination with scores of 37 and 95 in the first Test, the latter score was the highest by a Pakistan keeper in Australia. Rizwan was looked comfortable against the Australian fast bowlers and attacked Nathan Lyon confidently in the second innings, where he was right on top of Lyon. Rizwan was able to get starts in the T20 series unlike his teammates and will be looking to continue his solid outing in Australia so far. Batting at 7 means he will avoid facing the new ball, and at $8 with SportsBet is a great value selection as Pakistan’s leading run scorer in the first innings.
Pakistan pulled out a huge shock at the coin toss last Thursday by not selecting Mohammad Abbas instead going with an attack of Imran Khan, Shaheen Afridi and sixteen year old Naseem Shah. It backfired massively not selecting a bowler who is the only bowler to take more than 25 wickets at an average better than 18.66 since he debuted in 2017. The decision Pakistan faces is whether Naseem Shah who looked the most dangerous out of the Pakistani fast bowlers, can back up in back two tests in a row and hold his spot in the side. Abbas will be right at home bowling with the pink ball that will offer plenty of swing, he will be expected to bowl long spells and after taking 17 wickets in the two match series against Australia last year, he will be full of confidence heading into Friday’s Test. At $3.50 with SportsBet, look no further then Abbas to be Pakistan’s leading wicket taker in the first innings.
Australia won convincingly in the first Test thanks to a solid performance with ball and a dominating performance with the bat. Scarily for Pakistan, Steve Smith is yet to get going with the bat and if he does, it’ll be lights out for Pakistan. It’s clear to see that if Babar Azam doesn’t score big, Pakistan won’t be able to put a winning score on the board. The difference in depth between the two sides in Australian conditions is obvious. For Pakistan to have any chance, they will need someone to support Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Their bowlers should be aided with the pink ball which will swing more, however Australia’s power with bat and ball will be too much to overcome for Pakistan. At $1.18 with SportsBet, the Aussies are great option to anchor a multi.
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