Cricket match date: 16th October 2018
Cricket match time: 11:30 IST
Cricket match location: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Cricket Match format: Test Match
Tournament: Australia tour of United Arab Emirates 2018/19
Team A: Pakistan
Team B: Australia
Team A Captain: Sarfraz Ahmed
Team B Captain: Tim Paine
Cricket Match Preview:
When Tim Paine, the Australian skipper, was asked post the first cricket test match whether this draw feels like a win, he replied in negative. However, ask any Australian cricket fan and they would reply with a resounding yes. You cannot blame them though, especially how the last few months have gone for them as a team.
To lose two of your best batsmen is in itself a huge disadvantage, but if those two batsmen are also your captain and vice-captain, it becomes a doubly difficult situation for any team. That is exactly the challenge Australia faced before this series began when they had lost Steve Smith, their skipper, and David Warner, their opener, to the ball-tampering fiasco.
But opportunity arises amidst the adversity and that was when Usman Khawaja rose to the occasion in the first test match. Khawaja’s talent has always been well recognized but so has been his weakness against the spin bowling. His control in both innings in Dubai made him seem like a completely different cricket player. No Australian cricket team had batted for more than 107 overs in Asia to draw a test match, and this team batted almost 140 overs to do so. It was a humongous performance and it deserves to be touted as a miracle.
Pakistan, however, was on the receiving end of that ‘miracle’ and the heat is now on the skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed, to stop this slide that they currently find themselves in. Their Asia Cup performance was not up to the mark but still, UAE had been their yard for years now and the one which had been made a happy hunting ground brick by brick by former skipper, Misbah ul Haq. Hence, the failure of Sarfraz to win the game of cricket against the side that had lost majority of its last few test matches in Asia is quite a glaring one.
Despite Australia’s miraculous escape in the last cricket game, they would do well to remember that they were behind the game for all the four days prior to the fifth day when they held their own. Pakistan will begin as favourites yet again in this game, but they would have learned their lessons now and would do well to be careful on this occasion.
Cricket Match Information:
After the draw in the first test, confident Australia will take on Pakistan in the second test match in Abu Dhabi. It will be the final test match of the series and all to play for both teams. The last time Australia came to these parts of the world, they lost the cricket series by 2-0 and it is already going to be a better result for them on this occasion, irrespective of the result of this game.
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Pakistan played Wahab Riaz in the first game. But his failure to make an impact in both innings would not have gone unnoticed. Our prediction is to expect one change in place of Wahab Riaz and we might just get to see Mir Hamza in action.
Here is our prediction of Pakistan’s playing XI:
- Azhar Ali
- Haris Sohail
- Asad Shafiq
- Sarfraz Ahmed
- Usman Salahuddin
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Yasir Shah
- Mohammad Abbas
- Mir Hamza
- Bilal Asif
Probable XI (Our Prediction):
Australia did the unthinkable in the first cricket game by drawing the first game and so they would not be looking to bring in any change. Hence, our prediction is to expect an unchanged side, barring an injury to any player.
Here is our prediction of Australia’s playing XI:
- Aaron Finch
- Usman Khawaja
- Mitch Marsh
- Shaun Marsh
- Travis Head
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Tim Paine
- Mitch Starc
- Nathan Lyon
- Peter Siddle
- Jon Holland
Cricket Statistics and Prediction:
Yasir Shah had a forgettable game until the last hour in the first test. In the last hour, he came to life and brought life to Pakistan’s cause as well. He could not quite finish the job though and he would be hungry to win the next game, especially with the possible comeback of Shadab Khan in the next series.
Cricket Match Conditions and Pitch:
Abu Dhabi pitch is the typical sub-continental pitch. It will be full of runs for the first three days and then will move very quickly in the next few days. In the last game played here between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, both teams had scored more than 400 batting first and the game looked like going for a draw, but some collapsed from both teams and Rangana Herath’s magic led to 21 runs victory for Sri Lanka then.
Pakistan will still begin this game of cricket as favourites but only because it is their home ground. Australia will have to find a way to get the wickets to win the game otherwise, they will be chasing the game yet again.
Top Batsman (Prediction):
Azhar Ali (PAK) – 50+ runs
Top Bowler (Prediction):
Yasir Shah (PAK) – 5 or more wickets
Most Sixes (Prediction):
Aaron Finch (AUS)
Pakistan – 1.86
Australia – 3.50
*odds may change anytime