Australia Vs Pakistan, 3rd Test: David Warner The Cynosure Of All Eyes In His Farewell Match At Sydney Cricket Ground

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi and batter Imam-ul-Haq will not play the third Test against Australia in Sydney. Saim Ayub and Sajid Khan will take their respective places in the XI

Retiring Australia opener David Warner celebrates after scoring a century against Pakistan in the first Test on Day 1.

The third Test was always going to be headlined by David Warner. The leadup to the last Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Warner's home - the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) - has expectedly been dominated by the opener playing his farewell game in the sport's traditional format. (AUS Vs PAK ScorecardMore Cricket News)

Veteran Aussie batter Warner has helped to hype what amounts to a match with not much on the line for the home side — Australia have already clinched the three-Test series with victories in Perth and Melbourne. The visitors still have something to play for — the last time Pakistan beat Australia in a Test match in Australia was way back in 1985 — at the very same SCG.

Warner had announced during a New Year's Day press conference that he will also retire from one-day internationals, along with Tests. But in typical Warner fashion, he said he'd make a comeback at the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy if asked.

He said the time was right to conclude his ODI career following Australia's recent World Cup triumph in India, where he was the champion team's leading run-scorer. 

Warner will continue to play Twenty20 cricket for Australia, at least until T20 World Cup in the United States and Caribbean in June.

“It was a (ODI) decision that I was very, very comfortable with,” the 37-year-old Warner said. “To win in India, from where we were, was absolutely amazing."

Australia lost two early games in the group stage of the 2023 ODI World Cup, denting their title hopes, but Warner said it helped inspire the squad.

“The bond just got stronger with each other and it's not by fluke or by chance that we were able to get to where we were,” he said. 

In 111 test matches Warner has accumulated 8,695 runs at an average of 44.58, including 26 centuries and a career-high score of 335 not out, scored against Pakistan in 2019.

Warner retires from the 50-over format as the sixth-highest run-scorer in Australian ODI history, having scored 6,932 runs from his 161 matches, and a two-time World Cup winner. His 22 ODI centuries are the second-most by any Australian ODI player, behind only Ricky Ponting, who made 29 in 105 more innings than Warner played.

The Champions Trophy, set to be played in Pakistan next year, is among the only pieces of silverware missing from Warner's resume; the last time Australia won it in 2009, he was not yet a certainty for selection in the starting side.

“If I'm playing decent cricket in two years' time and I'm around and they need someone, I'm going to be available,” he said.

Warner said the decision to quit ODIs would create more opportunities to play franchise cricket overseas, including in the United Arab Emirates-based ILT20. He is also eager to remain in Australia's Big Bash League after his contract with the Sydney Thunder expires at the end of this season.

Warner will have a commentary role with Fox Sports television later this year but beginning Wednesday he will again open the batting for an Australian lineup aiming for a Test sweep of Pakistan.

Australian selectors have confirmed there'll be no change from the starting XI that won by 79 runs in Melbourne. This means that pace bowler Scott Boland and all-rounder Cameron Green will again miss out from the starting lineup.

As for Pakistan, fast bowler Shaheen Afridi and batter Imam-ul-Haq will not play the match. Saim Ayub and Sajid Khan will take their respective places in the XI.

Playing XIs
Pat Cummins (captain), Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

Pakistan: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Sajid Jhan. 

(With AP inputs)