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Australia's first visit to Pakistan since 1998. Vice-captain Steve Smith described the Pindi pitch as "dead,” as Pakistan piled up 728 runs in both innings for the loss of just four wickets, and one of those was a run out. After looking clueless in the 1st test on a lifeless track, the visitors were served another lifeless pitch at Karachi. Luckily, they won the toss and put up 556 in the 1st innings with Usman Khawaja once again top scoring and a late push to the innings by wk Alex Carey with a 93. 

Australia bundled out Pak on 148 and took a mamoth lead of 408 runs in the 1st innings. They did the wise thing by not enforcing the follow on which would allow the pitch to wear and tear, put the Pak players in the field for more time and give their bowlers adequate rest to come back harder in the next innings. Everything started to play according to the plan as Australia  got Pakistan 2 down for 21. In walked the PAK skipper, deficit of more than 480 runs, 5 sessions to survive, historic test series on the line and no enough runs under the belt over 2 years. Babar Azam defied all these odds by first stitching a 228-run partnership with Abdullah Shafique who fell 4 short of a career defining 100. Babar broke many records during his innings of 196. He went past Mike Atherton's record of 185 by a captain in 4th innings. Rizwan has the 2nd most runs by a keeper in this WTC cycle. He has  2 Man of the series awards. He is the only 4th keeper to win 1 or more award in tests. 

Australia had their chances, they dropped 6 catches in the game and were unlucky to not get 2 umpire calls in their favour. This is their 5th test since 2019 where they have failed to outbowl the opposition in 4th innings. In short, they lost out on a potential chance to win a series in the subcontinent for the 1st time since 2011 when they won 1-0 in SL and 1st away series victory since 2016 (NZ).Nathan Lyon has not been able to provide adequate support. Before his spell in the last innings, he had taken only 4 4th innings wkts in his last 1000 deliveries.

The pitch appears to be of the same type we witnessed in the 1st 2 tests from the images floating on the social media. Toss again becomes significant. Aus have decided to go unchanged in the final test.
Pakistan dont have a great record at Lahore. They have played 40 tests, won 12, drawn 22 and lost 6. The Australians have won only one test in Lahore, losing 1 and drawing three.


Probable XI 

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Swepson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc

Pakistan: Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sajid Khan, Hasan Ali.


Head to Head

Overall: Australia leads 33-15 with 20 Draws
In PAK: Pakistan leads 7-3 with 12 Draws
Last 10 matches: Australia leads 5-2 with 3 Draws


Match Ups

Warner vs Shaheen: 98 runs off no dismissals
Warner vs Iftikhar: 67 runs off no dismissals
Smith vs Shaheen: 30 runs off 1 dismissal
Labuschagne vs Shaheen: 81 runs off 4 dismissals

Babar vs Hazlewood: 70 runs off 6 dismissals
Babar vs Cummins: 100 off no dismissals
Babar vs Lyon: 165 runs off 4 dismissals
Rizwan vs Hazlewood: 42 runs off 2 dismissals
Iftikhar vs Lyon: 3 runs off 2 dismissals
Azhar vs Starc: 205 runs off 6 dismissals
Azhar vs Lyon: 272 runs off 1 dismissal


Form Update
(Runs in last 5 innings)


Key Players


David Warner: Pakistan has always been Warner's favourite opponents. From being a standout performer in the UAE 7 years ago to scoring his maiden triple ton, he has feasted on their bowling attack every single time. His 100 at SCG in one session in 2017 is just an example how he can set the game for his team. 335*, 154, 55, 113, 144, 69 were his last 6 innings against the hosts before the Karachi test where he failed to go past 50.  He averages a mamoth 91.92 in 14 innings at an SR of 71.

Marnun Labuschagne: The world no. 1 batsman set his foot outside Australia for the first time since 2019 Ashes where he averaged 50 in 7 innings. His returned with a 90 in his first outing at Rawalpindi and then missed out on a 50 in 2nd innings after being run out on a duck in the 1st innings. He also  has 8 wkts against Pak out of which 7 wickets came at an average of 22 in UAE in 2018. He has scored 481 runs with 2 centuries in last 4 tests against Pakistan. 

Usman Khawaja: 137, 101*, 97, 160 are Khawaja's score since his comeback in the SCG test except for 2 poor outings in Hobart. He is the highest run scorer in this series so far and holds an amazing distinction of scoring 2 150+ scores by a non asian batter in asia. 

Mitchel Swepson: He became the first specialist Australia legspinner to play Test cricket since Bryce McGain in 2009. He was sent on a leather hunt in the 2nd innings but displayed a much better control than he was expected to. Swepson has played 51 FC matches and has 154 wickets at 33.45 with four 5-wicket hauls. 3 consecutive hauls came in 2020-21 Sheffield Shield season. 


Shaheen Afridi: Sincen the last 1 year, the duo of Shaheen and Hasan are skittling opposition line-ups left and right. Shaheen has scalped 51 wickets at an average of 19.1 and SR of 42, whereas Hasan Ali has taken 43 wickets at an average of 17.51 and an SR of 34.1.  

Fawad Alam: Its a saying that you never write off anyone in sports and Fawad Alam is its perfect example. Out of favour for almost a decade, Alam just didn't knock on the selection door, he kicked it with his consistent FC record. Since his comeback, he has scored 4 tons, all against different opposition with 703 runs while averaging 50. He is the backbone of Pakistan's batting line up at 5. Karachi test was an aberration where he failed to contribute. 

Babar Azam: Scored a 100 after more than 2 years which involved a marathon knock of 196 (425). He broke many records during this knock which includes the highest score by a captain in 4th innings and most deliveries played by a Pak batter in the 4th innings.

Some notable tweets

















 Fantasy XI

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