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David Warner, Usman Khawaja Bat Well to Shift Pressure Back on Pakistan

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David Warner, Usman Khawaja Bat Well to Shift Pressure Back on Pakistan

December 28
15:34 2016

warnerNew Delhi, Wednesday, December 28 – Cricket lovers are getting good dose of entertainment at present thanks to more than a few series among various cricket playing nations on different soil. A series is in progress in Australia as well. The host and Pakistan are playing their second Test which is hosted at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne. Aussies lead series 1-0 as they thrashed Pakistan in the first Test by 39 runs. However, each match and day is different. Keeping probably this in mind, Pakistan chose to bat first after winning the toss in the Test match that began a couple of days ago.

Misbah-ul-Haq expected his team to do well as this was imperative to stay a step ahead of the rivals. Possibly this was the reason to have Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Younis Khan, Sohail Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed Mohammad Amir, Asad Shafiq, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah in Playing XI, while Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Asghar, Sharjeel Khan, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, and Imran Khan in extra. Steven Smith is captaining a side that is full of talented players like Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird. At the same time, Chadd Sayers is the player to sit on bench.

If combination of batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders both in Australia and Pakistan is seen then one point is clear that weightage is given to both experienced and inexperienced players. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq gave invitation to Australia to bowl first. His men did not disappoint as well since the team declared 1st innings at a score of 443 runs for the loss of none wickets. Even though a few wickets lost early since Sami Aslam was sent back to the pavilion by Lyon at a score of 9, which comprised a boundary, Azhar Ali kept the calm and showcased batting skills, scoring 205 runs in 364 balls. He hoped some good partnership, which could have lent Pakistan a hand to gain foothold. Babar Azam struck three boundaries. This helped him release pressure from his team to some point. However, before he would have tried to go further, his innings of 23 runs was ended by Hazlewood for the reason that Smith was sharp in pouching the balls.

Younis Khan lost his wicket to Bird post scoring 21 runs, which included a four. Next dismissal was observed early since Misbah-ul-Haq succumbed to Bird when he was playing at an individual total of 11 runs. Though he struck a four and six in his short innings, he could not let his play be an impressive one. Some stability was observed after that since Asad Shafiq seemed to arrive on the crease to play with confidence. Despite the fact that Pakistan lost four wickets at a score of 125, Shafiq and opener Ali made sure to not go with risky shots. Before Bird broke the partnership between the two, Shafiq scored 50 runs facing 123 balls, with four 4s. Sarfraz Ahmed lost his wicket to Hazlewood at a score of 10 (4 x 1).

Mohammad Amir was dismissed by Starc at a score of 29 facing 27 balls. His innings comprised six fours. Sohail Khan was doing good but had to go back as Maddinson was fast in sending the ball towards the stumps. Khan was run out when he was playing at score of 65, with the help of six 4s and four biggies. Wahab Riaz was caught & bowled by Hazlewood the moment he opened his account. Yasir Shah did not play as Pakistan decided to declare innings. Hazlewood and Bird got three wickets, Starc and Lyon got a wicket each. Smith and Maddinson got no wickets. Provided that rain interrupted the play on Day 1, it was necessary for the tourists to put forward strong play as this was imperative to boost chance of winning and leveling the series.

On the other hand, Smith’s boys are eager to take unassailable lead of 2-0 in the series, making the most of their talent. The touring side watches quick breakthroughs in the match so that Australia trail behind. Expectations are up from the host, keeping in mind the potential of the players who are part of the squad. Here is to mention that the chances of witnessing some astounding innings thanks to the presence of a few batsmen and bowlers, who house the talent to change entire equation by opting for attacking mode, were up. A similar picture was presented by opener David Warner regardless of the fact that Matt Renshaw was out by Yasir Shah at 10 runs that were attained in 40 balls (4 x 1) .

Usman Khawaja and the opener did a partnership of 198 runs, letting Pakistan bowlers try for other tactics to get their wicket. A better player is someone who takes note of his strength and weaknesses as well along with positives and strong points of the contenders to avoid making mistake as long as possible. Warner is someone of that kind, assuring terrific start for Australia in the face of losing opener Renshaw early. Even though play of almost two and a half day remains, Warner innings could be a key to success for Australians. The opportunity to bat according to pitch conditions and the environment is supposed to be utilized by Usman Khawaja, who is batting at a score of 94 runs (4 x 13). Steven Smith is batting at 10 runs. After 56 overs, Australia have scored 277 runs. If truth be told then this is the best time to let opponents feel extreme pressure in their den. Handscomb, Maddinson, Wade, Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon and Bird are yet to bat. Australia trail by 166 runs but are in strong position with eight wickets in hand.

The hosts would hope to not suffer batting collapse and stay as a better cricket team in front of Pakistan and other teams. Victories from time to time will make them be a threat for opponents, however, that is going to ask for dedicated efforts by all players. As of now, Australia want to stay focused and use their talent in the best way possible in order to remain robust. It has become interesting to note how Misbah-ul-Haq guide his men to stay on track and get wickets. Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz and Azhar Ali need to bowl well on the track that so far supported good batting. The recent triumph by Australia over Pakistan cricket team has filled immense confidence. If they remain desperate to show that a lot of cricket remains within them and the squad could be outstanding anytime against the tough rivals, then another success on the home turf will not be far.

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