TIME WILL TELL
With the Australian team cock-a-hoop at the moment over a lackluster one day series against New Zealand their form will be tested this Thursday against the old men of cricket Pakistan.
The Aussies have been buoyed by their performance against New Zealand but should it count for anything? The answer is an emphatic – NO!
The team that played in the ODI is not the team that takes on Pakistan. Six of those players and you can make it seven if you count no-man –land Maxwell, are not in the team.
The test match in Brisbane is a whole new ball game. Pink, night, humidity, rain etc, etc virtually make it a whole new game. All the excuses a coach needs to remonstrate against failures.
New boys Handscomb, Maddison and Renshaw will need to consolidate their respective positions against the wily Pakistanis. The latter two will need to make runs as there are a couple of players breathing down their necks.
Pakistan are the original golden oldies with the skipper Misbah-ul-Haq 42, seven other players thirty or over. They should be used to the hot weather but Brisbane will certainly sort them out. Much will depend on their two young prodigies Babar Azam (22) and Sami Aslam (22). They are fine batsmen and should make many runs.
The visitors’ biggest hope however is the chubby Yasi Shah. The leg spinner seems to be getting better with age and he will test the Aussies. If the young batsmen can score freely from him it will make their place for India assured. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir will give the Aussie bats a run for their money also. He won’t be the crowd favourite.
Three of Australia’s batsmen are in fine form. Warner, Khawaja and Smith are scoring runs with ease but this will be a big test for them. Hazlewood and Starc are the best bowling combo in the world but they will need to have more assistance from the rest of the pack. It will take a team effort to crack the Pakistan side. Mind you their form in New Zealand was nothing to write home about but they are cricket’s Travis Cloke. You have no idea when they will fire.
Perhaps the biggest thing to come out of the match in Brisbane will be the support from the Queensland locals. If the crowds are poor then we could see this being the last test for the banana-benders for a long while.
Who will win? Anybody’s guess under the weather conditions but a defeat to Australia will have them gunning for more changes.