About the Match
The Gabba is where Australian teams feel most at home and where they have been unbeaten since 1988. It is the traditional venue for the first test for visiting teams since the Australians believe they can deliver the knockout punch before allowing their guests to acclimatize.
The matchup between Australia and Pakistan was always going to be between the somewhat inexperienced batting lineup of Australia and the extremely talented pace battery that Pakistan always seems to possess.
After dropping some crucial chances on Day 1, Pakistan needed to make some quick inroads and stop the Australians from running away with the match, however, a fantastic century from Peter Handscomb and some lusty lower order hitting from Lyon and Bird meant that the Aussie total reached an impressive 429.
The Australian pace bowlers then ripped through the Pakistan batting lineup and left them tottering at 98 for 7 by end of day 2.
What Does Day 3 Hold?
Not much better we are afraid. The Gabba pitch is at its fastest on Day 2 and Day 3 making the threat of Mitch Starc and Josh Hazelwood all the more potent. Pakistan’s meek surrender also meant that it took only 43 overs to reduce to them to this state leaving the Australian bowling lineup fresh and ready for another day of sustained attack.
Sarfaraz Ahmed is a recognized lower order batsmen still left at the crease and is partnered by Mohammed Amir whose highest score of 39* and a career average of 12.58 does not inspire much confidence. Rahat Ali, the last batsman remaining for Pakistan is a bonafide number 11 and does not stand much chance against the likes of Starc.
We are confident in predicting that Pakistan is not going to add more than 30 runs to its overnight total.
It is also safe to assume that Australia will look to enforce the follow on and finish the match as soon as possible. The likelihood of this match going into day 5 is all but non-existent and even reaching day 4 will be a minor victory for Pakistan.
The Pakistani batting is unlikely to be able to survive another 90 overs tomorrow and Australian fans can be confident of an innings victory for Australia by the last session of day 3.
The only batsman of some pedigree and someone who has demonstrated some form in the recent months has been Azhar Ali. He has the toughest job in the game as the opening batsman, however, he is most likely to end up as the top scorer for Pakistan in the second innings.
Sarfaraz Ahmed is also a good option to bet on as the innings top scorer since he comes down late when the field is likely to be very attacking and is a free scoring batsman. Having spent some time in the middle in the first innings will also do his confidence good.
All in all, Steve Smiths century will be enough to win him the man of the match as Australia canter to victory.
Winner: Australia, 1.012 @ Bet on Australia now