Pak vs Aus: Pakistan opts to bat in Sydney test

Pakistan play its third and last Test as Australia already secured the series with a tense 79-run victory in Melbourne

Australia's Pat Cummins (R) celebrates with teammates Steve Smith (L) and David Warner (C) after dismissing Pakistan's batsman Barbar Azam. —AFP
Australia’s Pat Cummins (R) celebrates with teammates Steve Smith (L) and David Warner (C) after dismissing Pakistan’s batsman Barbar Azam. —AFP

Pakistan’s skipper Shan Masood elected to bat first in the third Test against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as David Warner prepares for his final Test match.

The 37-year-old opener, Warner, with an impressive record of 8,695 runs at an average of 44.58, aims to conclude his Test career on a high note, bidding adieu at his home ground.

Masood, expressing hope for a strong first innings, anticipates a promising start under the sunny skies. Australia’s skipper, Pat Cummins, also eyeing a bat-first decision, expects a supportive crowd for Warner at SCG, a venue where the retiring batsman has shined in the past.

The match marks the 112th Test at SCG and coincidentally, Warner’s 112th and his final Test appearance.

Pakistan made strategic changes, granting a Test debut to Saim Ayub in place of Imam-Ul-Haq, while resting Shaheen Shah Afridi for off-spinner Sajid Khan, expecting Ayub to set a robust tone for Pakistan’s batting lineup.

Australia secured the series with a tense 79-run victory in Melbourne. The Sydney Test, notorious for rain interruptions, holds a medium chance of showers, while spinners are historically impactful, claiming 54 wickets at an average of 44.02 in the last five matches at SCG.

The cricket fraternity anticipates an emotional farewell for Warner, looking forward to witnessing his last stand in Test cricket. As the action unfolds at SCG, all eyes are on Warner’s final innings and Pakistan’s quest for a competitive start to the third Test match.

Teams

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan: Saim Ayub, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (capt), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Sajid Khan, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamer Jamal

Umpires: Richard Illingworth(ENG), Joel Wilson(WIS)

TV umpire: Michael Gough (ENG)

Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

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