Australia v Pakistan Tests: Aaron Finch and Yasir Shah headline our players to watch

Alex Broun 01:29 07/10/2018
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Aaron Finch (r) with new opening partner Usman Khawaja

A new-look Australian team, with three debutants, takes on a Pakistan side low on confidence after the Asia Cup. Here’s our five to watch:

Aaron Finch

After a distinguished career in limited overs cricket the Australian T20 captain finally gets his Test debut at the ripe old age of 31. Has scored over 3000

runs in ODIs with 11 centuries and showed considerable patience in the four day warm up game against Pakistan A where he scored 54. Will need to be just as patient in the Test series as he looks to make one of the vacant opener spots his own.

Travis Head scored a quick fire 90 not out against Pakistan A

Travis Head scored a quick fire 90 not out against Pakistan A

Travis Head
This is a big chance for the impressive young South Australian who has an opportunity to transform his promising career in first-class cricket to the Test arena. Has always looked a Test player with an excellent temperament and has worked hard on his technique over the last couple of seasons. A better player than his first-class average of 36.43 would suggest with seven centuries.

Marnus Labuschagne making new friends in Dubai

Marnus Labuschagne making new friends in Dubai

Marnus Labuschagne
Gets his chance after Matt Renshaw was struck in the helmet while fielding at short leg in the warm-up match. Born in Klerksdorp, South Africa the 24-year-old will come in at No6 and will be hoping to build on his well compiled 39 not out when he was brought in to the practice game as a sub for Renshaw. Earlier, scored a pair in the second game against India ‘A’ but a promising 60 and 37 in first match.

Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah

Pakistan’s success in the series will hinge on the veteran veteran leg-spinner. Australia have worked hard to prepare for Shah by bringing in similar styled spinners from India for batting practice. But Shah’s 165 wickets at 29.44 show how dangerous he can be. He made his Test debut in Dubai against Australia in 2014 and took seven wickets for just 116 runs to spin Pakistan to victory.

Hafeez is back in Pakistan's Test team.

Hafeez is back in Pakistan’s Test team.

Mohammad Hafeez
A surprising recall for the 38-year-old who hasn’t played Test cricket for over two years, when he scored just 0 and 2 against England in Birmingham in August 2016. His last Test innings in the UAE however was an impressive 151 against England in Sharjah in November 2015. Had a poor series against Australia in 2014 scoring just 48 runs (avg. 16). Right arm off-spin could come in handy on the final day.

Key stats

Australia in UAE
Tests 4
Won 2
Drawn 0
Lost 2

Pakistan in UAE
Tests 30
Won 15
Drawn 8
Lost 7

Pakistan v Australia Overall Record
Played 62
Australia Won 31
Pakistan Won 14
Drawn 17

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