Pakistan's Tour Of Australia 2023-24, 3rd Test: Three Key Battles To Look Out For In AUS Vs PAK Cricket Match

Australia and Pakistan will play the final Test of the bilateral series at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground starting on Wednesday. Here are the three key battles to look out for in the third Test of the AUS Vs PAK match

Shaheen Afridi (left) reacts post the drop catch of David Warner in the 2nd Test

Pakistan have already lost the three-match Test series against Australia with two consecutive defeats, first in Perth and second in MCG. Now both teams will clash in the final match of the Test series at Sydney Cricket Ground - the 'Pink Test' - starting on 3rd January, Wednesday. (AUS Vs PAK ScorecardMore Cricket News)

Veteran Aussie batter David Warner has already announced his retirement from Test and ODI cricket after the final match of the series against Pakistan in Sydney. In his farewell Test, Pat Cummins & Co must be thinking of a send-off with a victory. 

Australia dominated Pakistan in both the opening matches and Pakistan looked like a minnows against the Aussie giants. Australia won the first Test by 360 runs in Perth and the second match by 79 runs in the Boxing Day Test at MCG.

Despite their best efforts, the Pakistan cricket team has been struggling due to numerous injuries. Although they managed to put up a good fight in the second Test match, they ultimately fell short.

While Mir Hamza and Abdullah Shafique have been impressive, important players like Imam Ul Haq and Babar Azam are yet to score some crucial innings on this tour. Additionally, Shaheen Afridi has not been in full form.

1. Mitchell Starc vs Abdullah Shafique
Mitchell Starc usually opens the bowling attack and Abdullah Shafique opens Pakistan's batting innings. Shafique has played Starc and other bowlers comfortably but has hit only one half-centuries in this tour. He needs to play a big knock and Starc has the upper hand as he had already dismissed him twice in the series. The 24-year-old Shafique has shown a promising start to his career and his battle with Starc would not be less than a treat to eyes. 

2. Shan Masood vs Pat Cummins
In the battle of captains, Pat Cummins has the upper hand as he had dismissed Masood once in the ongoing Test series and has two wins as captain. However, Masood has also scored two half-centuries in the series. Cummins was awarded the player of the match for his 10-wicket haul in the Boxing Day Test. The battle between the two captains is worth watching and the way Cummins set the field and bowls in that area to get the wicket is what makes Test cricket so much fun. Masood will be trying to come on top in the final Test match at SCG.

3. David Warner vs Mir Hamza
David Warner will be playing his final Test match in Test cricket at SCG and he will be eyeing to make it a memorable farewell Test for himself. Mir Hamza, the 31-year-old left-arm pacer impressed everyone with his accurate line and length bowling in the Boxing Day Test at MCG. His in-swinging delivery to left-handed batters is very deadly and Travis Head fell on that delivery in the second Test. The battle between Hamza and Warner could be a key battle to look out for in the third Test of the series.

Australia Squad: David Warner, Travis Head, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Scott Boland

Pakistan Squad: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood(c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan(w), Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Aamer Jamal, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Abrar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed