Not Gabba, Not, Oval, Not Eden Gardens, Not Lahore but Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium will be the most important destination in cricketing world on 4th of March when Australia – # 1 test side will take on Pakistan. After more than 24 years Australian cricket team has reached Islamabad – beautiful capital of Pakistan to play complete bi-lateral series.
They will be playing 3 tests, 3 ODIs and a one off T20I in next 6 weeks. Australian team is very excited about this special tour as stated by Cummins, Khawaja & Smith which is a big step forward to bring International Cricket back to Pakistan. Pakistan Cricket Board has taken few great steps to revive cricket for home fans – biggest being getting rights to host Champions Trophy in 2025. Pakistan will be defending its title in 2025 which we won in 2017 under leadership of Sarfraz Ahmad in UK.
Australia is a world # 1 test team right now. They also have # 1 Test Batsman in Marcus Labuschagne and # 1 Test Bowler who is also skipper of the team Pat Cummins. Australia will also have services of their star performer of last decade Steve Smith who recently has expressed his excitement to play in Pakistan. Smith further added that he along with other team members are feeling safe in Pakistan. Aussies shared multiple pictures on different social media forums in last couple of days where they were found enjoying coffees and beautiful Islamabad view.
Australia is coming with the huge momentum before this test series as they have thrashed England to a 4-0 test series defeat last month. Cummins, Starc & debutant Boland were star with the ball and Travis Head & Labuschagne led the charge with bat. Pat Cummins along with Mitchell Starc & Josh Hazlewood will test Pakistani batsman on flat deck of Rawalpindi Stadium and it won’t be an easier journey for Pakistani bowlers to face Smith, Warner, Khawaja & Travis Head.
Pakistan on the other hand have defeated Bangladesh by playing some aggressive cricket in Dec 2021. Babar Azam – star of Pakistan Cricket will be leading this newly looked side. Pakistan will be missing their star test players like Hasan Ali, Abid Ali & Faheem Ashraf who have contributed a lot in last couple of years. Haris Rauf who was thought to make a debut on his home ground will miss 1st test due to COVID. Pakistan has called Muhammad Abbas who had a wonderful county season last year in UK along with Naseem Shah – another young & exciting fast bowler of Pakistan. Naseem also holds record of youngest bowler to take a test hattrick, he achieved this feat in Rawalpindi vs Bangladesh back in Feb 2020. Will Shaheen & Rizwan continue their PSL form in this test series and make an impact in the longer format or Pakistan will depend on Fawad Alam, Babar Azam and Sajid Khan to tackle this tremendous Aussie team.
This young and energetic Pakistan team led by their hero Babar Azam with the support of Alam & Azhar will look to overcome passionate side from Australia in this test series. It will be an exciting contest.
Team Australia will move to Karachi & Lahore for remaining 2 test matches after playing first match in Rawalpindi starting from 4th March. Kangaroos will come back to Rawalpindi for 3 ODIs & a T20I.
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