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  1. #1
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    Australia name 15-member squad for 2-match Test series against Pakistan to be played in the UAE

    Cricket Australia's National Selection Panel has named a 15-player squad for the Qantas Tour of the United Arab Emirates.

    The squad, led by Tim Paine, will play two Tests against Pakistan, the first commencing on 7 October at Dubai International Stadium and the second commencing on 16 October at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

    It features five players yet to debut at Test level - Queensland trio Michael Neser, Brendan Doggett and Marnus Labuschagne, South Australia’s Travis Head and Victoria’s Aaron Finch.

    Qantas Tour of UAE - Test Squad

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    The vice-captain position will be finalised and announced by the NSP ahead of the series.

    Speaking on the squad, National Selector Trevor Hohns said:

    “There has been significant change to our Test squad, due to the unavailability of a number of key players,” Hohns said.

    “That said, we firmly believe the squad selected is up to the challenge ahead, and is capable of playing a brand of cricket that can perform well in this series against Pakistan.

    “It’s a blend of experienced players who have a significant amount of either Test or first-class cricket, and a number of younger players who we are confident are ready for the Test arena.

    “Looking at the conditions we may face in the UAE, we believe this squad covers all bases. We have selected four front-line fast bowlers and three spinners, with Mitchell Marsh ready to play as an all-rounder and a number of top-order batsmen who also offer part-time spin options.

    “There are five potential debutants in the squad, all of whom have earned selection through their performances and deserve this opportunity.”

    On the yet-to-debut players – Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Michael Neser, Marcus Labuschagne and Brendan Doggett - Hohns said:

    “Aaron is in sensational form, and this is the right time to give him a chance to play Test cricket. He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield in recent seasons, and brings added experience and leadership to this group.

    “Travis has improved his game immensely over the past 12 months, and is the type of player we want in this environment. He’s a hard worker who has performed well with the bat in his recent four-day opportunities for Australia A and South Australia.

    “Michael is a strong all-round cricketer - he bowls and bats well, and is a mature player coming off a fantastic Sheffield Shield season for Queensland. He has impressed us with his performances for Australia A and in his white-ball opportunities for Australia.

    “Marnus is a young player with plenty of potential and a great work ethic. He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield, has shown he’s a good player of spin for Australia A in India, and is an elite fielder who offers added variety with the ball as a leg-spin option.

    “Brendan is an exciting prospect, a fast bowler with raw pace and wicket-taking ability. He provides an additional option to Mitchell Starc if extra pace is called for, and this is an ideal opportunity to get him involved in a national set-up for the first time after his recent showings for Queensland and Australia A.”

    If selected to debut, Doggett would become just the second Indigenous cricketer to play Test cricket for the Australian Men’s Cricket Team, following Jason Gillespie.

    On the return of 62 Test-veteran Peter Siddle, Hohns said:

    “Peter is a proven performer in the Test arena, who has been in outstanding form in his recent first-class outings over in England. His experience will be crucial for this bowling group, and we know that he is a warrior who can bowl the type of long, tight spells which may be required in the conditions we expect to face.”

    Joe Burns, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, and Jhye Richardson were among a number of other players considered, but not selected.

    “Joe, Peter and Glenn were players we discussed when selecting the batting group, but we had to take into account the conditions and competition we are set to face in the upcoming series. All three remain on our radar for Test cricket, but we want them to perform for their States and continue to push their case ahead of what is going to be a big Australian summer,” Hohns said.

    “Jhye is a player who has a bright future in all formats, and has been impressive in his international opportunities to date. He is one of a number of developing bowlers adding to the depth of our fast bowling group, and we see him potentially having an important role to play in the shorter formats of the game in the immediate future.”

    The squad will assemble in Brisbane for a pre-tour camp on 16 September.

    Fixtures
    29 September - October 2: warm-up match v Pakistan A, ICC Academy, Dubai
    7-11 October: 1st Test v Pakistan, Dubai International Stadium
    16-20 October: 2nd Test v Pakistan, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi


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  2. #2
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    We should smash them, but then again Pakistan has a knack of making heroes out of nobodies. A quarter of this team are full of players most in Australia let alone abroad have never heard of


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  3. #3
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    Glen Maxwell would be fuming right now, his non-selection for the A tour seemed to suggest that he was a lock-in for this tour.

  4. #4
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    A third of their squad is are new players. Cummins,Hazelwood,Smith,and Warner out. We should be winning this series , don't want to hear excuses that we still going through transition after Misbah and Younis retirement. They retired in April 2017!!!!!!! Most teams in transitions still win home series .

    2 genuine spinners should be selected at a minimum.

  5. #5
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    Five uncapped players were named in Australia's squad for the Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

    The team announced on Tuesday, 11 September, wore a new look all around. Reinforcements were vital in the batting department in particular, with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft serving bans. Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschange were the batsmen who made the cut, apart from all-rounder Michael Neser, and Brendan Doggett, the seam bowler.

    Of these, Finch and Head have played a substantial number of international games in the shorter formats and Neser has played two one-day internationals, while the other two have never worn an Australia shirt. We take a quick look at the five new entrants.

    Aaron Finch is an international veteran, even captaining Australia in the shortest formats. He first appeared for Australia – in a Twenty20 International – in 2011, and has since played 134 more games for Australia.

    He has scored consistently in the longer format for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. In all the opener has accrued 4338 runs in red-ball cricket from 76 matches at an average of 36.15. In the 2017-18 Australian domestic season, he scored 494 runs from eight games at 35.28.

    "Aaron is in sensational form, and this is the right time to give him a chance to play Test cricket," Trevor Hohns, the national selector, said. "He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield in recent seasons, and brings added experience and leadership to this group."

    A top-order batsman, Travis Head has featured in 39 ODIs and 16 T20Is with decent success. The South Australian has also enjoyed some success in the red-ball format, having accumulated 4476 runs at an average of 36.09.

    In recent times, he has improved his performances against the red ball and furthered his case for Test selection with a resilient 87 for Australia A in India to secure victory against India A. In the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield, he amassed 738 runs from eight matches at 46.12. His bowls part-time off-spin, which might come in handy on the dry pitches of UAE.

    "Travis has improved his game immensely over the past 12 months, and is the type of player we want in this environment," Hohns said.


    Marnus Labuschange was the second-highest run-getter in the 2017-18 Sheffield Shield, scoring 795 runs from 11 games for Queensland at 39.75. In the recent match against India A, he scored 60 and 37 on a difficult pitch. The 24-year-old also bowls leg-spin, which improved his chances.

    "Marnus is a young player with plenty of potential and a great work ethic," Hohns said. "He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield, has shown he’s a good player of spin for Australia A in India, and is an elite fielder who offers added variety with the ball as a leg-spin option."

    Michael Neser, the Queenslander, was the second-highest wicket-taker in the previous Sheffield Shield, taking 39 from 10 games at 21.84. He is reputed for being able to bowl a nagging line and length, which earned him 4/61 in the first four-day game against India A.

    His bowling capabilities coupled with his penchant for lower order runs makes him a valuable asset to the side.

    "Michael is a strong all-round cricketer – he bowls and bats well, and is a mature player coming off a fantastic Sheffield Shield season for Queensland," Hohns said.

    Brendan Doggett is just eight first-class games old, but in his short career has displayed enough potential with the ball to convince the selectors that he warrants a place in the national side. In the last Sheffield Shield season, he picked up 28 wickets from seven games for Queensland.

    If selected for any of the Tests, Doggett will become only the third player of indigenous decent after Faith Thomas and Jason Gillespie to have played Test cricket for Australia.

    "Brendan is an exciting prospect, a fast bowler with raw pace and wicket-taking ability," Hohns said. "He provides an additional option to Mitchell Starc if extra pace is called for, and this is an ideal opportunity to get him involved in a national set-up for the first time after his recent showings for Queensland and Australia A."

    Stats mentioned don't include numbers from ongoing second first-class game between India A and Australia A.

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/846802


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  6. #6
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    Decent squad.

    Surprised by Maxwell's omission.

    Siddle's recall is a surprise. I suppose he is there to play the 'Abbas' role but someone like Jackson Bird could have done that too.

    Interested to see whether Renshaw has improved against spin.

  7. #7
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    it should be 2-0 in favor of Pakistan. It would be disappointment if they don't win 2-0.

  8. #8
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    Pakistan should smash this team into oblivion.


    And I get so high.. And I just can't feel it....

  9. #9
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    Looks like a poor quality side. In theory Pakistan should be able to comfortable beat them... In theory... The pitches should be made conducive to spin

  10. #10
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    No Cummins, Hazlewood, Smith, Warner. This team will get obliterated in the UAE.

  11. #11
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    Any news on where the series will be broadcasted in the UK? @MenInG @Saj @Abdullah719

  12. #12
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    One of the weakest Aussie line ups ever.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  13. #13
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    I assume that the Maxwell omission is related to the Al Jazeera scandal.........

  14. #14
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    Anything less than 2-0 should be a disappointment.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I assume that the Maxwell omission is related to the Al Jazeera scandal.........

    if thats the case they wouldn't pick him in the t20s either. Let's see if that happens

    I personally think this has more to do with a personality clash


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I assume that the Maxwell omission is related to the Al Jazeera scandal.........
    Good spot.

    The official reason they have given doesn't add up.

  17. #17
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    Anything less than a 2-0 win for Pakistan would be a disappointment.

  18. #18
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    Kurtis Patterson and Chris Tremain should have been in there ahead of Labuschagne and Nesser.

    Otherwise a much expected squad by Australia.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Good spot.

    The official reason they have given doesn't add up.
    To be clear I am not saying the allegations are true. Rather that Australia may be adopting a cautious approach given the recent controversies.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    if thats the case they wouldn't pick him in the t20s either. Let's see if that happens

    I personally think this has more to do with a personality clash
    Both relevant points.

    Maxwell blew up & didn't handle past dropping/ommision well and made a few moves/statements that saw him regarded as more a loose cannon than a team player. Given the inexperience of the team and attempt to build a new culture around a weakened captain (given circumstances) I'd say personality is more to do with it, given Maxwell will play other formats.

  21. #21
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    even with our awful batting line up in tests we should be aiming for a 2-0 series win here against a weak Australian team.

  22. #22
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    Pick and play both Yasir and Shadab and Pakistan will win this. Go with more than 3 fast bowlers and we are hurting ourselves.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongun View Post
    Both relevant points.

    Maxwell blew up & didn't handle past dropping/ommision well and made a few moves/statements that saw him regarded as more a loose cannon than a team player. Given the inexperience of the team and attempt to build a new culture around a weakened captain (given circumstances) I'd say personality is more to do with it, given Maxwell will play other formats.
    But he was part of the last test squad. Why did the "loose cannon" argument not apply then, but does now?

    It's a puzzle because he plays spin well and was selected for the last test series. Langer has justified the non-selection by saying Maxwell needs to go and perform in the Shield, but that ignores the fact he averaged 50+ last season.

    Even Ponting is confused:

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/rick...ble/2018-09-11

  24. #24
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    Once again, it's a case of "Don't get too cocky". I'm sure England fans when they saw the Pakistan squad without Misbah and YK they would have had an easy 2-0 victory in mind but we saw what happened.

    I'm not saying I don't expect us to beat them, I do, but we shouldn't just assume we're going to roll them over.

  25. #25
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    Need a 2-0 win, with at least one test won by an innings and runs. Anything less and Australia would have done well and Pakistan would have been mediocre.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadi123 View Post
    Once again, it's a case of "Don't get too cocky". I'm sure England fans when they saw the Pakistan squad without Misbah and YK they would have had an easy 2-0 victory in mind but we saw what happened.

    I'm not saying I don't expect us to beat them, I do, but we shouldn't just assume we're going to roll them over.
    We play our best when the expectations are low. The Australians on the other hand, play at their best when they are the favorites. They are not known for underdog victories.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  27. #27
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    Ricky Ponting says he’s confused by the omission of Glenn Maxwell from Australia’s Test squad.

    The former Australia captain said he was also surprised Maxwell was left out of the recent 'A' tour of India.

    Australia’s selectors announced the squad for the team's two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE on Tuesday.

    Maxwell had been tipped for a call-up in the absence of suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, but uncapped pair Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head were both picked ahead of him, with chief selector Trevor Hohns citing their performances on the A tour – for which Maxwell was not selected – as a reason.

    Ponting, who has coached with the Australia limited-overs sides this year, says Maxwell should have been given a chance to impress selectors on the A tour.

    "If I was Maxi I'd be thinking: 'Why didn't you give me the chance to actually go there (to India) and push my case to get myself into the team?'" Ponting told cricket.com.au.

    "That's all a bit bizarre to me. If I was Maxi and I hadn't been given the chance to play for Australia A, I'd be ropeable.

    Ponting has coached as part of the current Australia set-up Ponting has coached as part of the current Australia set-up
    "They didn't pick him on that Australia A tour and they've said they've seen him play enough in those conditions and knew what he could do.

    "But if you think about it now, that must have actually meant they weren't going to pick him at all. He didn't even come into calculations for that Test tour.

    "With Marnus [Marnus Labuschagne] and Travis Head going on that A tour, they gave them the opportunity to play in those conditions, they've done well and then they picked them (for the Test squad).

    "I'm not sure what the message is, but it's a bit confusing to me.”

    Hohns says Maxwell remains on the "radar for Test cricket", but head coach Justin Langer called on the 29-year-old to score more centuries.

    "I’d love to see Maxi score more hundreds," Langer said. "And he and I have talked a lot in our brief time together about the art of concentration and watching the ball like a hawk.

    "I’m sure if he does that more regularly, he will be making a lot more hundreds and be much more pickable for Test cricket."

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/847008


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  28. #28
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    Agree with @Junaids on this Maxwell exclusion. Something doesn't quite meet the eye, they have been actively cajoling him almost to not play any cricket over the past couple of months.

  29. #29
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    Personally I don't really mind Glenn Maxwell not being selected. Personally don't really rate at all much. Not a good choice as a Allround spin bowler for Australia.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadi123 View Post
    Once again, it's a case of "Don't get too cocky". I'm sure England fans when they saw the Pakistan squad without Misbah and YK they would have had an easy 2-0 victory in mind but we saw what happened.

    I'm not saying I don't expect us to beat them, I do, but we shouldn't just assume we're going to roll them over.
    This.

    Aussies will fight back hard.

    I'm worried about our spin attack. Is Shah 100% fit? Who will be the second spinner? Can Shadab Khan win games in UAE? Pakistan team is weaker post YK/Misbah.

  31. #31
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    Finch
    Renshaw
    Khwaja
    S Marsh
    T Head
    M Marsh
    T Paine + *
    N Lyon
    J Holland
    M Starc
    P Siddle / A Agar

  32. #32
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    I would have liked to see maxwell in the playing eleven. An easy wicket for us.

  33. #33
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    Allan Border questions Glenn Maxwell’s omission from Australia Test squad

    AUSTRALIAN cricket great and former selector Allan Border believes double-standards are at play when it comes to Glenn Maxwell’s shock omission from the squad for the two-Test series against Pakistan.

    Having enjoyed the finest Sheffield Shield campaign of his career (707 runs at 50.50) last summer and as one of only two available players to boast a Test century in Asia, Maxwell was considered a frontrunner for selection. Unfortunately for the Victorian that was not enough to earn him a spot on the plane to the United Arab Emirates, with coach Justin Langer calling on the right-hander to produce big scores on a consistent basis.

    “He needs to score more hundreds, it’s as simple as that,” Langer said on SEN on Wednesday. That’s criteria Border says has not been applied evenly across the board.

    “It seems to me that he’s viewed differently to the others,” Border told foxsports.com.au. “They say they want him to make hundreds.

    “That’s a common reason people use whenever Maxwell’s not in a squad or a team but they don’t say that to the other guys in contention who are actually being picked. I feel sorry for him...It’s a tough one to fathom.”

    Since first being called out for a lack of big scores by then Australia coach Darren Lehmann in late 2016, the Victorian has made two first-class centuries. It’s not an outstanding record but it’s as many as many as Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne in the same period, and one fewer than Travis Head — all three of whom were picked for the series.

    Maxwell has also managed as many first-class centuries (7) in his career as both Finch and Head in fewer matches. Finch’s seven hundreds have come across 76 first-class matches, while Head’s have come from 70. Labuschagne has a comparatively impressive record with four tons from 35 first-class matches.

    Border believes Maxwell is a victim of his own ability.

    “He’s frustrating at times because you know he can produce better with the talent he’s got — that can be frustrating for the coaches and people involved.”

    For his part, Maxwell has taken his omission in his stride, pledging to score the hundreds Langer wants from him.

    “He made it pretty clear he wants more hundreds from me, and that’s fine,” Maxwell said on SEN’s Whateley.” I’ll try and give him that during this JLT (one-day cup) and during this Shield season coming up as well. I’ll make sure I can give him what he wants.”

    Despite his disappointment over Maxwell’s snubbing, Border said there was plenty to like in the squad, praising the selections of Labuschagne and Finch.

    “Marnus deserves his opportunity after couple of good seasons for Queensland,” he said. “He’s a strong character, brilliant in the field and an old-fashioned batsman. He’s not a power hitter. He’s got good technique and knows how to build an innings.

    “I like the selection of Finch. He’s a good person to have around the group because of his leaderships qualities and can be very destructive. If he can play the red ball anything like he does against the white ball, it could be pretty exciting to watch.”

    https://www.news.com.au/sport/cricke...84191cf4f4ee58

  34. #34
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    Maxwell was a walking wicket last time he toured the UAE. He’s no Steve Waugh.

  35. #35
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    All the posters saying "we should obliterate them " and "roll them over " .... Just have a look at their probable starting eleven

    RENSHAW ( gritty , strong minded lad who've done ok in India last year )
    FINCH ( Dangerous in any format he plays and brilliant against spin as well)
    KHAWAJA ( struggled initially against spin ...but a much improved player rn)
    S MARSH ( a beast on highway tracks )
    T HEAD ( weak link maybe....but still not to be taken lightly)
    M MARSH (just like his brother, the guy can bat long and is in good form ATM)
    T PAINE ( very good at playing with the tail)
    A AGAR ( can do what Herath did last year)
    N LYON ( the best offie in the world rn)
    STARC ( lethal in any conditions with sheer pace)
    SIDDLE ( vastly experienced and a workhorse)


    All in all this team has 'the potential' to beat pakistan in the series. I'm expecting a lot tougher fight than a few of the posters are suggesting.

  36. #36
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    Australia are a very average batting team: Shane Warne

    Australian cricket has been in the doldrums since the triple suspension of Steven Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft earlier this year. The bowling has not really taken a hit, but the batting has really been jolted. To make things worse, the future does not look too bright, as Shane Warne told Fox Sports: “I think with Australian cricket there are lots of concerns. One is talent coming through, why isn’t the talent coming through? I can’t think of one young batsman that’s come through from any state that you think ‘this guy is going to be the next superstar of Australian cricket’.

    “Our batting, the top six positions – who are the two certainties that we’re going to play? Probably Shaun Marsh and [Usman] Khawaja are our two best batsmen. They’re good players, don’t get me wrong — but who are the other four batters that we’re going to have in the side? I don’t think we have six genuine Test match batsmen, of genuine Test-match class.

    “We look at the Australian system, the Sheffield Shield and the pool to pick from and I scratch my head. I’m trying to be realistic and I’m trying to be positive but I’m really worried about our batsmen against quality bowling, spin or fast … We’ve got to accept we’re a very average batting team – our bowlers save us.”

    However, Warne also pointed out the upside of the current scenario: “The exciting thing for me is the opportunity. I think we should be looking at players that have not so much got averages, but character, technique; they get runs when it counts, all those things.” A throwback to Allan Border’s brigade of the mid-1980s, perhaps?

    “I’d be picking guys that have toughness of character rather than good averages. I want to know the personality and character and the size of the heart of the player at the moment. They’ve got to fight and not give up.

    “I think the opportunity that is available to people is the exciting thing to look forward to and also our bowlers. We’ve got to be excited about them. When they’re all fit and playing we’ve got one of the best bowling attacks in the world, if not the best.”

    https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/...e-warne-745404

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalin View Post
    All the posters saying "we should obliterate them " and "roll them over " .... Just have a look at their probable starting eleven

    RENSHAW ( gritty , strong minded lad who've done ok in India last year )
    FINCH ( Dangerous in any format he plays and brilliant against spin as well)
    KHAWAJA ( struggled initially against spin ...but a much improved player rn)
    S MARSH ( a beast on highway tracks )
    T HEAD ( weak link maybe....but still not to be taken lightly)
    M MARSH (just like his brother, the guy can bat long and is in good form ATM)
    T PAINE ( very good at playing with the tail)
    A AGAR ( can do what Herath did last year)
    N LYON ( the best offie in the world rn)
    STARC ( lethal in any conditions with sheer pace)
    SIDDLE ( vastly experienced and a workhorse)


    All in all this team has 'the potential' to beat pakistan in the series. I'm expecting a lot tougher fight than a few of the posters are suggesting.
    They'll play Holland ahead of agar I suspect. And Siddle was a nothing bowler in these conditions even four years ago. At 34 and a couple of stress fractures later, he is unlikely to be any better . They needed a better seamer than that to bowl good lines here in the desert.

  38. #38
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    @Convict Why wasn't Tremain selected ahead of Siddle for this tour? He's younger and was Shield player of the year and hasn't bowled too badly on the A tour of India.

  39. #39
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    Pakistan should win 2-0 against this squad.

  40. #40
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    'Relaxed' Travis Head credits increasing maturity for Test call-up

    Australian top-order batsman Travis Head feels he has become a more relaxed player, and has thus been able to string together consistent performances in first-class cricket.

    Head was one of five uncapped faces named in the Australia Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. His chances of selection were boosted by his sublime 87 in the second innings of a four-day game against India A in Bengaluru recently. It set up the win for Australia A – the side he was leading.

    But Head feels consistent performances over the last few seasons of the Sheffield Shield have played as big a role in securing him a chance in the Test team. In the 2017-18 season, he was one of the Shield's best batsmen, scoring 738 runs from eight matches at 46.12, while in 2016-17 he had amassed 645 runs from nine games at 43.

    "Over the last three or four years in Shield cricket I’ve been able to put a few consistent seasons together on the board which is nice," Head was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Friday, 14 September.

    "I think over the process of a few years I have come a bit more relaxed and especially over the last six months I have worked extremely hard on my game and the technical side of my game. I have spoken about my forward defence and that comes with more maturity. I just got a bit older and a bit (more) relaxed, so I am ready to go."

    But batting is not the only department Head wants to contribute in; he's been working hard on his bowling and although he's not had the desired results yet, he'd like to be given the chance.

    "It's something that I have worked hard on, although I didn’t get the results in India (with Australia A) that I would have liked,” Head said about his off-spin bowling. "I don't think it really reflected how well I was bowling at training, so hopefully I get a bit of an opportunity."

    The 24-year-old has already had experience captaining his domestic side, and more recently took over the mantle of the Australia A limited overs side, but he isn't too concerned about trying to secure the vice-captain's role in the Test team.

    "There is a lot of talk about that (vice-captain) role, but (I hope) I can help the team in any way, whether that be with leadership or with my batting, bowling, fielding, training, standards or values," he said.

    "Everyone in that team is a leader. It is a great bunch of individuals and a great bunch of guys that work extremely hard at their craft and what they do. It's not going to take just "Painey" (captain Tim Paine) and just "JL" (coach Justin Langer).

    "It's going to take a collective group over the series and over a period of time to get to where we want to get to."

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/848523

  41. #41
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    Pakistan should win it 2 - 0 .

    They should attack with 3 spinners.

  42. #42
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    Aaron Finch eager for long-awaited debut

    Aaron Finch says he won't make any radical alterations to his belligerent batting approach as the Victorian firms for a long-awaited Test debut against Pakistan next month.

    No Australian without a Baggy Green has played more international cricket than Finch, who finally earned a call-up to the Test squad last week after a number of consistent years at first-class level.

    His five centuries and a batting average of 47.88 in first-class cricket over the past four-and-a-half years have not grabbed the kind of attention his limited-overs exploits have.

    But with Australia reeling from the loss of three key batsmen for their Qantas Tour of the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan, Finch's form is now impossible to ignore while his experience could also prove invaluable.

    He looms as the most logical option to partner Matthew Renshaw at the top of a rejigged Test batting order, but Finch says he'd slot in anywhere.

    "I'd bat number 11 if I had to," he joked.

    While he hadn't quite entered into a now-or-never mindset ahead of his call-up, Finch conceded he thought the window to fulfil his childhood dream would have shrunk considerably had he been overlooked for the UAE tour.

    The 31-year-old admitted his heart rate "went through the roof" when selection chief Trevor Hohns delivered the good news as he was driving home from Victoria training last week.

    "It was probably the time when if it didn't happen now, it was probably less likely to happen down the track," Finch said.

    "It would mean a lot (to make his debut). You grow up in the backyard dreaming of playing Test cricket and getting a Baggy Green. It's closer now than it ever has been before."

    Speaking to reporters in Brisbane where Australia's 15-player squad is gathered ahead of their departure for Dubai this week, Finch was careful to point out there are no guarantees over a spot in the Test XI.

    The right-hander has been touted as a likely opening option, a position where he's prospered in white-ball cricket, but he noted the likes of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Travis Head all have experience at the top in various formats.

    The beginning of an innings when the ball is new and hard is often the best time to bat on low, slow and turning subcontinental pitches, which could suit the aggressive Finch to a tee.

    But he stressed there may be times where he'd need to reel in those attacking instincts.

    "Being aggressive has made me reasonably successful in international cricket in the two shorter formats," he explained.

    "(His approach) depends on the order they see me fitting in if there's a spot in the XI. If it's at the top, it's about playing your natural game. If it's in the middle, there will be times when you come in against a lot of spin and the ball is reversing.

    "Pakistan are a side that tend to bowl a lot more spin with the new ball, particularly in the second innings.

    "It's just about sticking to your natural game, playing to your strengths. When that happens, you give yourself a higher chance of success.

    "Playing for 10 or 12 years you build up a game plan you think works for you pretty well. It's not about going away from that because it's Test cricket or you're playing in the subcontinent - it's about just changing your mindset slightly."

    As one of five uncapped players in the Test squad, the know-how Finch has acquired from a seven-year international career could be crucial as the Aussies eye a first Test series win in Asia since 2011.

    "There are some guys on their first tours, which is really exciting for them," he said.

    "While this is my first Test tour as well, I've been around for quite a while and probably know the demands of international cricket - not necessarily Test cricket.

    "(I can be) a sounding board for some younger guys if they need a chat - wherever Tim (Paine) and JL (coach Justin Langer) think I can help out."

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/aaro...20i/2018-09-17

  43. #43
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    Holland ready to take one last chance

    Spinner Jon Holland concedes next month's series against Pakistan could be his last chance to establish himself on the international stage.

    Almost a decade after his first tour with Australia, Holland will head to the UAE this week with just two Tests to his name and a Test bowling average in the 50s.

    Following the UAE tour, Australia won't play Tests in Asia again until February 2020, underlining the importance of this campaign for Holland to prove he can perform at the highest level.

    The 31-year-old insists he's a better bowler than he was during his hurried and brief stint in the Baggy Green more than two years ago and says there'll be plenty of nerves if he's picked to partner Nathan Lyon for the first Test in Dubai on October 7.

    "It definitely crossed my mind that I was probably running out of time (to play Test cricket again)," he told SEN.

    Holland receives his Baggy Green cap
    "Obviously every time you play cricket you want to do well, so the nerves and everything will be there again if I do get another opportunity.

    "It probably is my last crack, so I really want to put a good performance out there and hopefully I can get a couple more years in the Australian colours."

    Holland is back in favour having been surprisingly overlooked for Test tours to India and Bangladesh last year, with Ashton Agar, Steve O'Keefe and Mitchell Swepson picked ahead of him on those tours.

    Former Test captain Ricky Ponting, Holland's skipper when he was picked as a 22-year-old for Australia's ODI tour of India in 2009, said last week it was a "no-brainer" for Holland to play alongside Lyon for the Pakistan series.

    And Ponting added the left-armer had a chance to end any debate about who should partner Lyon if conditions require a second spinner on future tours.

    "He has been Australia's second-best spinner for some time," Ponting told cricket.com.au last week.

    "Whenever he plays for Victoria, he takes wicket after wicket. He's a quality bowler.

    "He let himself down a little during those two Test matches he played for Australia in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago. He probably didn't bowl as well as he could have.

    "If he gets a crack at it now, he's someone who could potentially play for Australia over the next few years in the right conditions."

    Holland all but assured his Test spot on the recent Australia A tour of India, where his nine-wicket haul steered the tourists to a victory over a strong India A side in Bengaluru.

    The Victorian was picked as the lone spinner in that side ahead of Agar and Swepson, his main rivals for a Test spot, and bowled more than 53 overs in a match-winning performance.

    "I think it was important ... there were two other spinners over there that missed out on that game," he said.

    "To take on the job as the only spinner and bowl the team to victory on the last day really strengthened my case for a recall.

    "Throughout the winter I’ve been I’ve been working pretty closely with our coach at Victoria Andrew McDonald on a few plans and the conditions that we might face in India and maybe the UAE if I was to be selected.

    "I had a little bit of a chat with Justin Langer and some other people about what they expected the conditions to be like and what was required in those conditions. So I think I worked pretty hard in the winter and luckily enough it paid off."

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/jon-...ing/2018-09-17


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  44. #44
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    Scandal-hit Australia vow 'hard but fair' series against Pakistan

    Skipper Tim Paine vowed Australia will play "hard but fair" against Pakistan as they embark on their first Test tour since a ball-tampering scandal and with fresh controversy raging following allegations by England's Moeen Ali.

    The squad jetted out late on Wednesday for their first Test series since the ill-fated tour of South Africa early this year, which led to 12-month suspensions for Steve Smith and David Warner and triggered an outpouring of public anger.

    Australia have five uncapped players in their squad for a tour in which they plan to adopt a more respectful culture and move away from the win-at-all-costs mentality blamed for the explosive ball-tampering row.

    "The Australian way has always been to play hard and fair and that'll be no different this series," Paine told reporters before departing for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    "There's always a lot of eyes on the Australian cricket team wherever we play, so that will be no different, and this team is really clear on what's expected and our standards, and we'll uphold them."

    Two reviews into the state of the game were set up in the aftermath of South Africa — one focusing on the culture within Cricket Australia and the other into the team.

    While the team has had a shake-up and Darren Lehmann was replaced as coach by Justin Langer, they open the two Test series days after further off-field problems emerged after Moeen said in his autobiography that an Australian player called him "Osama" during the 2015 Ashes.

    Moeen, a practising Muslim, said he was on the receiving end of the slur, a reference to terror leader Osama bin Laden, from an unnamed opponent during his Ashes debut against in Cardiff.

    Cricket Australia has launched an investigation, calling the comment "unacceptable".

    'Partnerships, patience, pressure'
    With Smith, Warner and fellow ball-tamperer Cameron Bancroft missing, along with injured fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, it could be a tough tour for Australia, who have one of their weakest squads in years.

    There are five debutantes — Queensland trio Michael Neser, Brendan Doggett and Marnus Labuschagne, South Australia's Travis Head and Victoria's Aaron Finch.

    Paine is expecting a demanding tour played in temperatures likely to hit 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

    "We are going to have to play really hard, tough cricket particularly from the batting side," he said.

    "And then in the heat over there, it's the same for our bowlers; it's going to be about patience, trying to wear them down and being in a position late in the game where we can make a move."

    Matt Renshaw, who was dumped ahead of the Ashes late last year, is likely to open along with Finch, who is an experienced one-day and Twenty20 campaigner but has never played a Test.

    A slimmed-down Usman Khawaja, who says he has lost several kilos after stepping up his training regime, is expected to come in a number three with Shaun Marsh at four and potentially Head at five.

    "We have spoken about partnerships and patience and pressure, which is going to be a real key over there," said Paine.

    The first Test is in Dubai from October 7 with the second in Abu Dhabi from October 16.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1434063/sc...ainst-pakistan

  45. #45
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    Smith, Warner, Cummins, Hazlewood all out.

    Apart from Starc and Lyon, there isn't a single world-class test player in that squad. Anything less than a whitewash and Pak should feel they were below par.

  46. #46
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    Renshaw gets another trick from The Wall

    A chance encounter with legendary former India batter Rahul Dravid has reaffirmed Matthew Renshaw's commitment to be Australia's modern-day version of the 'The Wall'.

    After forging a career as the hardest man to dismiss in the world and racking up over 13,000 Test runs, Dravid has since moved into coaching and helped India set the benchmark as the world's leading producer of young batting talent.

    Renshaw last month made the most of hamstring niggle that saw him miss Australia A's opening four-day game against India A in Bengaluru by hitting up Dravid for advice, with a two-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates on the horizon.

    "I spoke to him a bit – my Dad has done a bit of work for his academy over there," Renshaw told cricket.com.au in Dubai on Saturday.

    "I spoke to him a little bit over there and just (took away) some little things, little gems of wisdom.

    "Someone who's got (over) 11,000 … Test runs is someone you want to take as much from as possible. He was always really welcoming and very good with us talking to (me)."

    He added with a smile: "I talk about my ping-pong game being a little bit like Rahul Dravid - I just try to get everything back. I'll think about doing that in a Test match."

    While Renshaw only managed 0 and 19 in his return for the second four-day game on that A tour, he's confident he's a more effective player on the subcontinent than he was for the Test campaigns in India and Bangladesh last year.

    "I watched a little bit of footage of my India tour last year," he said.

    "Although I got a couple of fifties, there's still areas I could work on and going big in those series would have helped us."

    Renshaw grabbed the attention of Australian fans in his debut Test series two summers ago when he emerged as a modern version of a very old-style opener.

    The left-hander's patience and willingness to leave ball after ball was a welcome trait for an overhauled Test side and he broke through with a brilliant 184 against Pakistan in the 2017 New Year's Test in Sydney.

    His axing last November for the opening Test of the home Ashes after a lean start to the JLT Sheffield Shield season saw him brought back to earth, but this year he’s stormed back into an unmatched vein of form.

    Following an eye-catching Shield final performance and a productive winter stint with county side Somerset, Renshaw has six first-class centuries to his name this year - the joint-most in the world - while his 1199 runs (at 52) in 2018 are nearly 250 more than the next best Australian.

    His stroke-play has expanded significantly, but Renshaw is still determined to be the immovable, Dravid-esque presence in his second coming to international cricket.

    And with Australia's best two batters and the man who replaced him for the Ashes all missing due to ball-tampering bans, Renshaw looms as a vital ingredient in a depleted top-order.

    "I (want to) get an opportunity to bat all day, bat two days, bat three days – however long," Renshaw said.

    "I'm just trying to bat and making the bowlers bowl to me and make them get me out rather than me getting me myself out."

    Renshaw admits it's comforting to know he has succeeded against Pakistan in the past ahead of the return leg of the 2016-17 series.

    But he also noted the major leaps Sarfraz Ahmed's side have made in limited-overs cricket in recent times and expects them to be a tougher proposition in their adopted home in United Arab Emirates.

    "It's always nice knowing you've got some runs against an opposition but it's completely different conditions over here," said Renshaw.

    "They've got a new young side, who have been really successful in the white-ball format, so I think they'll bring a lot of success over to the red ball and it will be a really good challenge in their home conditions.

    "Their spinners are good, but one thing I took out from (last year's) India series was working a lot more on pace.

    "A few of the lessons I've learnt ... is concentrating when those quicks come back on.

    "You have a little time where you switch off against the quicks in the subcontinent because the spinners are coming at you so hard that the quicks are a bit of a break, but we don't want to have that mentality."

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/matt...ies/2018-09-23

  47. #47
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    Australia get warm welcome in Dubai

    Justin Langer spent his first training session with his new-look Test squad pushing his charges to their limits in extreme desert heat ahead of their series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

    With the mercury soaring above 41 degrees Celsius, Australia sweated and panted through an intense three-hour training session at the International Cricket Council's headquarters in Dubai on Saturday.

    Australia are more than two weeks out from their series-opener at the nearby Dubai International Cricket Stadium, but their desire to be well prepared has brought them to the Middle East early.

    Opener Matthew Renshaw says the Test side will refuse to use the punishing temperatures as an excuse for another failure on the subcontinent, where Australia have won just a single Test series in eight attempts over the past decade.

    "It's going to be hot, we know that," Renshaw told cricket.com.au. "We've just got to not think about it.

    "It's going to be tough at times, there's going to be a few hot days. But if we are mentally prepared for this weather better than what this Pakistan team is, we'll go a long way to winning this Test series.

    "We've been ... talking about the way we want to play and how we want to go about preparing and being the best prepared team in the world, especially for overseas tours like the UAE. It's about as being as well prepared as possible."

    With the specialist bowlers and allrounders padding up and hitting the nets first following an extended warm-up, Langer interrupted the session and gathered squad members and local net bowlers alike into a huddle. He animatedly implored the tail-enders to bat as if a debutant (of which Australia could field as many as five for the first Test) was approaching a century at the other end.

    The dogged former opener's imprint on the squad is already apparent, as was the intensity of both the newcomers and (relative) veterans of the squad.

    Uncapped quicks Brendan Doggett and Michael Neser charged in for the best part of an hour, while Peter Siddle was beetroot red after his first session back following a near two-year hiatus from international cricket.

    Left-arm spinner Jon Holland, who looms as Nathan Lyon's likely spin partner against Pakistan, also wheeled away in the nets as well on one of the two pristine ICC Academy cricket grounds.

    Only Ashton Agar, who has stayed back for the beginning of Western Australia's JLT One-Day Cup campaign, and Travis Head (personal reasons) were missing. Both are expected to join the squad ahead of a four-day tour game against Pakistan A, beginning on Saturday.

    One of only six incumbents in the 15-player squad from Australia's most recent Test against South Africa in March, Renshaw was one a number of batsmen thrown an unusual extra challenge in the nets.

    Langer grabbed a few of the hundreds of empty water bottles the Aussies had guzzled down and put them on a good length outside the batters' off-stump.

    "JL put a few bowling markers and bottles around where the rough would be on, say, a day-five wicket just to get that in the back of my mind when the spinners were bowling," Renshaw explained.

    "It's obviously very tough on day five when the spinners are bowling into the rough. It's more of a mental thing, you don't know which one's going to turn (and) which one's going to hit the bottle.

    "It's about trying to play the ball as well as you can and not have that in your mental mindset. It was quite fun - a few ricocheted off and hit me in the elbow and the stomach."

    Australia topped off their competitive bat versus ball component with a light fielding session.

    South African-born batter Marnus Labuschagne practiced his short leg skills, while limited-overs star Aaron Finch – also in his first Test squad – donned his helmet as well and practiced his close-in reflexes.

    As the sun set on a cloudless day, Langer finally sat cross-legged with the extended squad and support staff in a large circle out on the ground for a relaxed 20-minute debrief that ended in hugs and laughter.

    https://www.cricket.com.au/news/aust...ies/2018-09-23

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  49. #49
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    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/860331

    Nathan Lyon returns to the United Arab Emirates for his second tour with the Test side as one of the leaders of the Australian attack and as a "better cricketer and person".

    When Lyon takes the field for the first Test against Pakistan on 7 October, he will need only five more wickets to go past Brett Lee and become the fifth-highest wicket-taker for Australia in Test cricket. The second-most prolific bowler in the squad is Peter Siddle, who has 211 wickets to Lyon's 306 and will turn out for Australia after a gap of nearly two years.

    They have Mitchell Starc too, who has 182 wickets, and while he has emerged as the spearhead of the Australian bowling attack, in the hot and dry conditions of the United Arab Emirates and a surface known to assist spin more than pace, Lyon, perhaps, has the biggest responsibility of the three, especially with Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood out due to injury.

    But "no, not really," he told cricket.com.au when asked if he shares the larger share of responsibility with the ball.

    "Starcy and I spoke about that. It is just about providing good examples. Leading in a way we have tried to do in each and every game. The big thing over here is that we will have to bowl well in partnerships."

    In addition to Siddle and Starc, Australia also have fast-bowling all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Michael Neser in their midst and Lyon believes the pacers will not play merely to make up the numbers.

    "The fast bowlers are here not just to make up the overs. They are here to attack and defend. It is not that only one person has to stand up here. It is the whole bowling unit," he said.

    "It is going to be a great challenge and if we can bowl well in partnerships and if we can put the Pakistani line-up under pressure, and make sure they are being asked questions of their defence, that's going to be the biggest difference."

    Inevitably, though, it will come down to how well the spinners bowl in Asia, a place where Australia's record has not been the greatest. With Jon Holland, the left-arm orthodox spinner who has 25 wickets in his last five first-class outings, for company, Lyon is now focussing on building a good relationship with his chief bowling partner.

    "I am a big fan of Jon Holland. He has done extremely well back in the Shield games at home over the last couple of years and is a very talented bowler," Lyon said.

    "We are good mates as well, so our communication while bowling together in the middle was brilliant. So hopefully we can build our relationship here and take that out in the middle."

    And how exactly does he plan to build this relationship? "For me it's about bowling ugly over here. We will have to find a way to hit the stumps and that might be bowling the square or round-arm, whatever that may be," he said.

    "So yeah, it's having those conversations. It has been a brilliant lead up here before the first Test. The four-day game here in a few days is going to be a great time for us to experiment and also see the way they are going to play us.

    They have got different guys than Younis or Misbah, but they have still got a very talented batting line up
    "They really tried to attack me the last time I was here and I am expecting pretty much the same. Obviously, they have got different guys than Younis [Khan] or Misbah [ul Haq], but they have still got a very talented batting line up, so it's going to be a great challenge."

    In the current squad, only Starc, Siddle, Marsh and Lyon have experience of playing Test cricket in the UAE – in 2014 – and Lyon, for one, certainly believes has grown in stature since then. "I think I am a better cricketer and a better person," he said.

    "The amount of cricket we play, we keep learning. If you're not learning in a side, then you get in a little bit of trouble. But I have definitely learnt a lot from my past experiences in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh and of course here in the UAE. I feel like I am in a better place."

    Australia begin their tour with a four-day warm-up tie against Pakistan A from 29 September before the first Test in Dubai. The second and final Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from 16 October.
    Last edited by MenInG; 24th September 2018 at 09:49.


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  50. #50
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    Bemused how the Marsh brothers are still part of the set-up, let alone batting in the top 4. Australia should really have persisted with Peter Handscomb, if Maxwell couldn't be picked for sinister reasons.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Monetarist View Post
    Bemused how the Marsh brothers are still part of the set-up, let alone batting in the top 4. Australia should really have persisted with Peter Handscomb, if Maxwell couldn't be picked for sinister reasons.
    Mitch actually comes as 3rd pacer in the team, though he is not bowling much now days. With Warner & Smith out, AUS probably looked for a senior guy in Shaun, his stats against spinners are also very good.

    From this series, I think AUS has gained a good opening pair. Khwaja is looking good, while in AUS wickets, if Finch can stay for a session, he'll almost get a century.

    Shaun at 5 & Mitch at 6 might just make it against IND, but they badly need a No. 3 & No. 4 - Hashcomb one, may be they'll call back Joe Burns, or this opener kid pushing Khwaja one slot down to 3.


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