Australia tour to Pakistan: Pace attack could be boosted
Australia are likely to include a raft of pace bowlers in their squad for the scheduled tour to Pakistan in March.
Cricket Australia are expected to sign off on the tour imminently for what would be the Test side’s first matches in Pakistan since 1998.
While pre-tour security reconnaissance in 2021 was largely positive, Australia captain Pat Cummins said last week he’d understand if individual players pull out.
Nevertheless, the selectors are continuing with their plans as if the series will go ahead, with the first of three Tests scheduled to start on March 3.
While wickets on the subcontinent traditionally carry spin, quicks like Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah have been the most successful bowlers there in the recent past.
“We don’t have a great deal of information on what sort of wickets to expect,” chief selector George Bailey told ABC Tasmania.
“We’ve looked at a lot of their first-class cricket. Maybe counterintuitively, it seems to favour fast bowling.
“Pakistan do have a wealth of strong fast bowlers.
Spin and fast bowlers strong options
“A lot of our subcontinent experience has led to thinking that the spin is going to be quite handy too.
“We’re covering all bases and taking a couple of spinners and a bevvy of fast bowlers just to make sure whatever conditions we do get, we’re able to adapt.”
The tour of Pakistan will be Australia’s first away series since the Ashes in 2019, after tours to South Africa and Bangladesh were postponed last year.
That said, Australia’s calendar could yet change as the three T20s in New Zealand – also scheduled for March – could be moved to Australia.
Whilst being scheduled for New Zealand, arrivals there will need to serve 10 days in quarantine, meaning three matches in four days would be difficult to accommodate.
Discussions have also taken place about fitting those T20s into New Zealand’s tour of Australia, which starts later this month.
The two sides are scheduled to face off in three one-day internationals between January 30 and February 5.
Sri Lanka then arrive in Australia five T20s from February 11, before they depart for Pakistan for the Test series.
We never doubted him: Zak Crawley says ‘phenomenal’ Joe Root ‘always comes good’
Root scored an unbeaten 106 as England reached 302 for seven against India.
He’s phenomenal – Zak Crawley hails Joe Root as ‘one of the best’ after century
Root made an unbeaten 106 out of England’s 302 for seven against India.
Joe Root rallies England with patient century in fourth Test against India
Root ended his lean patch with a battling 106 not out, which included a 113-run stand with Ben Foakes, as England went to stumps on 302 for seven.
England batter Ollie Pope unfazed by ‘interesting’ Ranchi pitch for fourth Test
The 26-year-old believes the surface doing a fair bit “definitely brings us into the game”.
Joe Root finds form to steady England after frantic start against India
The Yorkshireman was 67 not out at tea having registered his first fifty in seven innings.
Akash Deep strikes as England lose five wickets in first session
Ben Stokes described the cracked, crumbly surface as ‘interesting’ and ‘like nothing I’ve ever seen before’ this week.
Spinner Rehan Ahmed to leave tour of India because of urgent family matter
England do not intend to draft in a replacement for Ahmed.
Tall order – England opt for height in attack for fourth Test against India
England captain Ben Stokes elected to keep faith with two seamers as Robinson partners James Anderson.
England draft in Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir for fourth Test against India
Fast bowler Mark Wood drops out after an onerous workload in the third-Test defeat in Ranchi.