Gabba Test: Pak eye history; Australia eye revival
Brisbane [Australia], Dec. 15 (ANI): Australia will today take on Pakistan in the first Test of the three-match series here at the Gabba.
Patience will be the key for Australia, who are coming off a 1-2 Test series defeat against South Africa.
On the other hand, Pakistan hasn't won in 11 series in Australia, losing its last three series 3-0, and also its last nine Tests Down Under since 1999. It is still recovering from a 0-2 series loss to New Zealand, including an ignominious collapse of nine wickets in the final session of the second Test in Hamilton.
But Pakistan warmed up to the Australian challenge with a comprehensive 210-run win over a Cricket Australia XI last week.
Australia suffered defeats in five Tests on the trot this year, against Sri Lanka (3) and Proteas, but bounced back to a consolation win over the latter in the third Test in Adelaide, also a day-night game.
Pakistan briefly topped the ICC Test rankings this year but is currently placed fourth, while Australia is third behind top-ranked India.
Following its series loss to South Africa, non-performers were shown the door, and Australia is likely to retain the young side that won the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.
Pakistan will be buoyed by the return of Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain who missed the second Test against New Zealand due to a bereavement in the family. But its hopes mainly rest with the pace attack led by Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir, who impressed everyone with his pace and swing during Pakistan's last Test series visit in 2009-10.
Yasir Shah, the leg-spinner who has taken 116 wickets in 20 Tests, injured his back in the warm-up game against CA XI and faces a fitness test.
The clash will be Australia's third pink-ball Test, but the first under the Brisbane lights, having beaten New Zealand and South Africa in Adelaide. Pakistan beat West Indies in its only day-night Test in Dubai in October.
Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan. (ANI)