Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bat on an expected bouncy and fast Optus Stadium surface for the first Test between Australia and Pakistan.
Australia will face an inexperienced Pakistan attack on a hard pitch amid sunny conditions in Perth on day one.
Pakistan have lost their last 14 Tests in Australia stretching over two decades. Shan Masood, in his first Test match as skipper since replacing Babar Azam, has promised Pakistan will play positively after an energetic series victory in Sri Lanka in July. Swayed by the expected pace-friendly conditions, Pakistan opted against a frontline spinner with fast bowlers Aamer Jamal and Khurram Shahzad to make their debuts. Veteran paceman Hasan Ali was not included with seam-bowling allrounder Faheem Ashraf to also complement spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Allrounder Salman Ali Agha will be Pakistan’s only spin option with left-armer Noman Ali sitting out having been expected to cover the loss of injured legspinner Abrar Ahmed. Wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed retained his position over Mohammad Rizwan. The opener of the three-match series will be played amid a rebranded ‘West Test’ with the 60,000 capacity Optus Stadium hosting its fourth Test match. Despite initial hope of attracting 30,000 fans for day one, expectations have been pared back considerably with only a quarter of the ground set to be filled.
Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Travis Head, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood