KARACHI: Pakistan and Australia are ready to go into the first of their three-Test series at the Gabba in Brisbane from Thursday.
This will be the first Australia- Pakistan Test to be played under lights.
We look at five factors that can play a decisive role in deciding the fate of the opening match.
1 – Toss:
Since more than 40 % of the match will be played under lights, the toss will be all the more crucial, as the team winning it can bat first and avoid playing in tricky conditions under lights.
2 – Fielding:
Fielding can play a deciding factor in the match. The Pakistan team will be hoping that their usually leaky slip cordon holds on to their catches and perform better than their previous tours Down Under.
3 – The pace battle
Both teams will be relying heavily on their pace attacks. The cricket fraternity will also going to be interested in seeing the much-awaited battle between Australia’s Mitchell Starc and Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir — two of the finest young left-arm pacers around.
4 – Experienced pro’s batting performance
Pakistan have a far superior batting line-up in terms of experience, but both teams will be relying heavily on their experienced pros. For Australia, it will be captain Steven Smith and opener David Warner, whereas for Pakistan it will be captain Misbahul Haq and veteran Younus Khan.
5 – The spin clash
The Gabba track is traditionally pacer friendly, but the role of spinners cannot be ruled out as both teams possess two quality spinners in Australia’s Nathan Lyon and Pakistan’s Yasir Shah. Lyon will clearly have an edge over Yasir — playing in familiar conditions — but the Pakistani leggie will be hoping to leave a mark on the series on the land of his idol Shane Warne.