Lahore: Pakistan captain Babar Azam said that from Monday when the home team takes on Australia for the deciding third and final Test (PAK vs AUS 3rd test), their batsmen’s patience and skill will be tested on a slow wicket. The series is tied at 0-0. Babar played a marathon innings of 196 runs in the fourth innings to draw the match in Karachi.
Australian spinner Nathan Lyon and debut leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson bowled 108 of the 172 overs of the fourth innings in Karachi. But Pakistan had scored 443 for seven in five seasons, falling behind the mammoth target of 506 runs by 63 runs. On the lifeless pitch of the drawn Test in Rawalpindi, Australia took only four wickets while a total of 14 wickets had fallen in the match. And the Pindi Cricket Stadium pitch was rated ‘below average’ by the ICC (International Cricket Council) and was also given a demerit point.
The Pakistan Cricket Board, following criticism of the Rawalpindi wicket, summoned ICC Academy curator Toby Lumsden and with his help prepared the Lahore Test wicket. “It’s not much different, it looks like the same pitch but I think it will definitely take a turn,” Babar told reporters via video conference on Sunday. “It has small cracks which can help the spinners, but you can’t tell 100 per cent because it is very hot. Whatever happens, our spinners are ready for it.”
Pakistan are still contemplating the playing XI while Australia have not made any changes to their squad which means Swepson will get a chance to show off his leg-spin skills on a slow wicket with veteran off-spinner Lyon. Australian captain Pat Cummins said, “This wicket looks the same.” “I don’t see it much different from other pitches so we think we have the right combination in our team,” he said. (agency)