Pakistan Lose four Wickets against Australia in Melbourne Test before Rain Stops Play

December 26 13:40 2016

testNew Delhi, Monday, December 26 – The motto of team hosting a series is to let opponents feel extreme pressure in its den. After losing the opening Test by 39 runs at the hands of Australia, Pakistan would hope to learn from their mistakes to be a better cricket team, which could be a real threat for other cricket playing nations. But this would require them stay focused and use their skills in front of the hosts at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, which is organizing 2nd Test.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in the Test that started from Monday, December 26. For this match, Australia Playing XI includes captain Steven Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird. The one to sit on bench is Chadd Sayers. At the same time, Misbah-ul-Haq is leading a side that has Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sohail Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah. Those in extra are Sharjeel Khan, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Asghar and Imran Khan.

When Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq invited Australia to bowl first, it seemed he wanted to test the potential of his playing XI that whether the boys could take the team to a strong side or not. This decision might have fruitful result in the long term but did not seem appropriate as soon as Sami Aslam was dismissed by Lyon at a score of 9 (4 x 1).  Azhar Ali, however, batted well and hoped for good partnership from others too. Babar Azam to a certain extent tried to release pressure by hitting three boundaries but his play could not go beyond 23 runs since Smith was quick in taking the catch in Hazlewood’s over. Younis Khan succumbed to Bird at 21 runs (4 x 1). Misbah-ul-Haq also lost his wicket to the same man and was dismissed at an unimpressive total of 11 runs (4 x 1 and 6 x 1).

Asad Shafiq is batting at 4 runs, while opener Ali at 66 runs (4 x 4). After play of 50.5 overs, Pakistan accumulated 142 runs for the loss of four wickets. Match was delayed due to rain on Day 1. As per latest reports, it has been suspended further for the same reason. The moment match resumes, focus of Pakistan will be on fading away the stress by hitting a few classy shots to let Australian players do some running on the field. Australia bowlers, on the other hand, would pay heed to bringing innings of Pakistan batsmen to an end as quickly as possible. The hosts want to log victory in the ongoing Test to solidify its chance to seal series with one match yet to go.

All eyes are stuck on Pakistan performance as the batting collapse further could make them lose grip from the match. Any blunder at this point is to be avoided and focus is to be paid on winning the contest, which will allow tourists to level series. Pakistan players would want to capitalize chance to shine and not lose wicket. While batting against Australia in the opening match of at the Gabba in Brisbane, Pakistan camp felt the real pressure. The team was are back to the pavilion at 142 runs in first innings after they failed to read the mood of the pitch though Aussies scored 429 runs at the same place. However, the hosts were in a problematic stage to some extent post declaring 2nd innings at 202 runs, thinking it enough to restrict the rivals.

Pakistan succeeded in showing the resistance on the foreign pitch that time, scoring 450 in second innings. It can be called sheer luck of Australia that they won it by a little margin otherwise it would have been a humiliating defeat on them. The ongoing series is a perfect time to examine abilities of all-rounders, key batsmen and bowlers whether they could perform in unfamiliar conditions or not. The touring squad would have to hoard more runs if objective is to let opposition feel the heat. Australia are at good spot and would require to maintain the same to keep on pressurizing Pakistan.