About the Match
Day 2 saw Australia pile on the runs against a hapless Pakistan attack and then try to get them out for as cheap as possible. Pakistan showed some excellent solidity towards the end of the innings and gave hope of real fight being shown in the forthcoming days.
Day 3 Preview
Pakistan can some hope from the way that Younis Khan and Azhar Ali played in the last session of day 1 and pray that they bat long enough to make a serious dent in the Australian total. The visitors are still another 412 runs behind and as the test match at Melbourne showed, it does not take much for a Pakistani batting collapse to occur.
Younis Khan and Azhar Ali are batting on 64 and 58 respectively, so a century is within sights for both of them. The Sydney Pitch was absolutely flat and offered no assistance to the bowlers today and the third day is expected to be the same.
Both the batsmen have a real good chance of making their innings into daddy hundreds. We think backing Azhar Ali to get another hundred is a safe bet, while the likelihood of Younis Khan getting to three figures is a little lesser. Still, if both the batsmen can get past the morning session, then they could end up well beyond the 150 mark each.
Slated to come in next after these two is Misbah-ul-Haq, struggling for form and admittedly struggling to justify his place in the side. It could be his last innings and his fans worldwide would want him to do well. He is not going to receive any favors from Australia though as they will try to get him out early.
Expect a nervous few moments early at the crease, which if he survives, could see him make a score in excess of fifty quite easily. The pitch is suited to his style of play and he only needs to conquer the demons in his head to be successful.
With Asad Shafiq, Sarfaraz and a firing lower order to follow, Pakistan can harbor hope of getting to a 400 plus total which may put them in a position to try and safely draw out this test match.
The Australian bowlers struggled to get anything of this pitch and neither Steve O’Keefe nor Nathan Lyon were particularly effective. They will be hoping that the dry Sydney surface starts to turn a lot more on day three.
Shane Warne was of the opinion that this pitch will only start to turn towards the end of day three.
We think that going with the fast bowlers Hazelwood and Starc as the highest wicket taker of the innings is a good bet because they have looked threatening every time they have bowled. Debutant Hilton Cartwright was mediocre with the ball and a relief bowler at best.
The Aussies are tired but still in the driving seat and they would be disappointed by a draw from this point on. Currently, though, we think victory is well within their grasp