Exactly, 4 years ago the first-ever pink ball / day-night test was played. And, come this Friday 29th November, the 12th day night test will be played between Australia and Pakistan. That’s almost 3 tests a year and the second in 2 weeks. Not only the cricket fans have given their thumbs up to the format, but now it seems the cricket boards and players have made peace with the fact that this is the way forward to keep test cricket alive in the era of T20 cricket.
Pakistan was outplayed in the first test by the Australians. Though they made a bright start in the first session of the match where they did not lose a single wicket that was short-lived. The inexperience in the Pakistan team was visible as they could not match to the level of cricket concerning batting, bowling or fielding that was played by the Australians.
They would like to put up a good fight and end the tour on a good note.
Let’s see at some key factors of the test match
PITCH & TOSS
Traditionally, Adelaide has been a happy hunting ground for the sub-continent countries. Not only it’s spin-friendly but also the bounce is quite low as compared to the other grounds in Australia. This makes the horizontal shots more effective and the go-to shots for the sub-continent players which they are accustomed to playing, back in their home conditions. Also, the square boundaries are shorter than the straight boundaries making the back foot shots more effective.
Still, expect a bit of grass, approximately 8mm in length, just to keep the surface intact for a good period. With the sun beating down on the pitch the surface is bound to crumble and spinners will be in action after day 3.
It’s a no brainer that the team who wins the toss will bat first. That has been the so-called ‘template’ of every Adelaide test match. The pitch has always been a flat one with team’s preferring to bat first and capitalize on the beautiful batting conditions.
Historically, weather has been great in Adelaide during the Australian home season. Be it a November, December or January test, it has always been bright and sunny throughout the entire test. Expect the same for this one as well.
Undoubtedly, watch out for Steve Smith. He missed out in Gabba, but he is too good a player to miss out in consecutive matches, that too in home conditions. He has been one of the most popular picks in all the fantasy cricket teams post his return to international cricket. And, he hasn’t disappointed the fantasy cricket world either.
Playing his 50th test match, Josh Hazlewood would like to make it a memorable one. With not much bounce on the wicket, he would stick to his line and length, which is his forte, and make life difficult for the Pakistan batsmen.
From the visitor’s side, I feel there would be few changes in their playing eleven. One of the fast bowlers must make way for Mohammad Abbas. It was baffling for the cricket fraternity when he was not a part of the squad that played the first test in Gabba. He has a good test record against the Aussies. And, the conditions in Adelaide will suit his kind of bowling.
Another change which I’m anticipating is Imam ul Haq replacing either Iftikar Ahmed or Harris Sohail. And, if he makes the cut, he must open the innings with Shan Masood. Azhar Ali should bat one down and bring back some stability to the middle order.
Australia would try to keep the momentum and try to climb up in the WTC points table. I’m predicting a 4-day finish with an Australian win.
What’s your fantasy team going to be like for this test match?
Written By Saurav Das