After more than two decades, Pakistan’s Test team finds itself in an interesting position, walking into a new era while Australia readies to switch gears after their World Cup victory. For Australians, Pakistan’s Test team has been at the mercy of their team, who have been defeated in the last 14 Tests in Australia. Previously, Pakistan had experienced some embarrassing losses in Hobart ’99 and Sydney ’10, which solidified their reputation as an unstable side.
Pakistan’s chances of defeating Australia are minimal, and expectations are low as they get ready to begin the series in Perth against Australia. While most Australian fans may not be familiar with Pakistan’s current line-up, the team is optimistic as they usher in a new era under the leadership of the new captain, Shan Masood. Against the odds, Pakistan positively embraced an aggressive approach in their recent impressive series win in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Australia’s team, coming off a World Cup win, faces the challenge of transitioning to Test cricket following a taxing year. The team features nine players from the World Cup-winning squad and welcomes the return of spinner Nathan Lyon. While they are favored to win, the team is cautious about potential sluggishness after a lengthy year filled with different types of preparation for the players.
The match, dubbed the ‘West Test’, will be played amid a rebranded Perth Test. The 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium will host the series opener, and Australia and Pakistan will compete on a fast pitch similar to the WACA’s iconic surface.
The oddsmakers have Pakistan as the underdog in the upcoming match. Spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi will be key for Pakistan to take early wickets. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon for Australia is eager to improve his record against Pakistan.
In terms of team news, Pakistan has selected debutant quicks in a pace-heavy attack, while Australia has made only one change from the previous match, with Nathan Lyon replacing Todd Murphy. Neither team has opted for a frontline spinner.
As the teams prepare for what is expected to be a vigorous match, Nathan Lyon is raring to go in his return, while Pakistan’s unheralded attack aims to defy the odds. With an entertaining Test match predicted, cricket fans can expect a competitive showdown in the upcoming series.