Rauf withdrew from the series early, citing his desire to manage his workload and protect his body. He participated in the Big Bash League in Australia while the series was ongoing. Pakistan entered the series with a squad lacking high pace, and instead relying on medium fast bowlers. Shaheen Shah Afridi was the leader of the pace battery, but even his pace had not fully recovered since a knee injury. Afridi believed that Rauf would have performed well in Australian conditions and criticized his decision to play in the BBL.
The pitch at the Optus Stadium for the first Test was lively, with fast bowlers gaining extra assistance as the Test progressed. The home side’s seamers, particularly Pat Cummins, found success at the MCG. Afridi expressed his confidence in the Pakistani team’s abilities, believing they had a good chance to win the ongoing Test match. He praised Babar Azam, calling him the backbone of Pakistan’s batting lineup.