After two consecutive losses to Australia, Pakistan are under pressure to prevent a whitewash in the third and final Test of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 3-7.Pakistan seek face-saving win in final Australia Test. So, Pakistan has made two changes for the final Test against Australia to complete the three-Test series on a strong note under Shan Masood.
Pakistan played well in Melbourne after their 360-run loss in Perth in the series opener, but Australia won on the fourth day. After two half-centuries in the Boxing Day Test, Shan leads Pakistan’s run-scoring table ahead of the series finale. The series’ second-highest wicket-taker is Aamir Jamal, who debuted in the opener. He took 12 wickets in two games, including five.
Pakistan seek face-saving win in final Australia Test
In the Sydney match, opening batter Saim Ayub would replace Imam-ul-Haq and make his Test debut. Saim made his Test debut after a strong domestic season. Rested left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi is replaced by spinner Sajid Khan. Pakistan will stick with the three alterations made before the MCG Test.
Mir Hamza, who replaced injured Khurram Shahzad, had a career-best performance in Melbourne. He took six wickets, including a double-wicket maiden in Australia’s second innings. Hasan Ali and Mohammad Rizwan, who replaced Faheem Ashraf and Sarfaraz Ahmed at MCG, also remain in the team.
Pakistan captain Masood remarked in the pre-match press conference: “We learned from our first two mistakes. From now on, avoid repeating them, especially against good teams. I expect many Test wins if we keep playing like this.
We played good cricket all four days in Melbourne, but we had multiple chances to win. We’ll practice lessons. Our team’s direction is promising.”
The captain remarked, “Personally and as a team, we have never had any doubts about Shaheen. Records show he has bowled the most overs in world cricket recently. We must care for him physically and mentally.”
He added: “Fitness and workload affect performance. Our all-format players have played three World Cups and the World Test Championship in the past three years. This is being addressed to balance match relevance and workload.
“Khurram Shahzad, Aamir Jamal, and Mir Hamza performed well in difficult conditions. This shows how well our domestic system has strengthened our bench. We want to give our batters similar chances so we may expand our talent pool in each department.”
Pakistan’s SCG Test XI: Shan Masood (c), Saim Ayub, Abdullah Shafique. Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Sajid Khan, Aamir Jamal, Hasan Ali.