The build-up has mostly focused on Warner’s retirement, but Pakistan’s performance in Melbourne should guarantee that this isn’t a boring dead rubber.

Overview: The series is over, but Pakistan hopes to finish strong

David Warner week is underway at the SCG, but if conditions on the wicket and in the weather hold out, a competitive Test match might take place in Sydney.

Pakistan gave Australia a serious fright in Melbourne, and if you side with Mohammad Hafeez, a few “inconsistent umpiring” calls, and some unforced field errors, they could have pulled off a Christmas miracle and defeated the home team.

But as it stands, both the series and the match were lost. However, that does not imply Sydney will be a lifeless, boring place. Apart from crucial World Test Championship [WTC] points, this location has history for both teams. In 2010, Pakistan ought to have prevailed. They unintentionally shot themselves in the foot to lose the unwinnable Test match, much like Melbourne did the week before. Pakistan’s final Test victory in Australia, which occurred in 1995, also took place at the SCG.

They defeated New Zealand in the T20 World Cup semi-final at the SCG just 14 months prior, and it was also the scene of their finest limited-overs World Cup performance in the previous ten years.

Australia’s opener aims to go off Test cricket in style, but Pakistan’s record in Sydney and their prospects of pulling off another upset might be lost in the Warner wash. Many Australian Test greats saw their careers come to an end in Sydney, and while Warner may not have received the same level of emotional support from Sydney fans as some of the other greats who ended their careers at the SCG, he will undoubtedly receive the same level of warmth and goodwill from the city as he did from Perth and Melbourne when he made his final bows there.

Whether you like him or not, he has amassed an incredible Test career as the most successful Australian opener ever, and he is statistically by far the finest opener of his generation in international cricket.

His teammates are eager to send him go with a victory because they genuinely appreciate his record and his contributions to Test cricket. For the third consecutive Test match, Australia is expected to start without a change, demonstrating their amazing consistency. With Imam-ul-Haq under pressure to maintain his spot and a desire to play a specialist spinner in Sydney, Pakistan can only hope for the same kind of stability as they prepare to make more changes.

Since this is going to be his final Test match, David Warner isn’t in the spotlight to maintain his position any longer. It will be intriguing to observe if he can pull off something exceptional to send Test cricketing off on a high note. He’s not the type to creep out into the night. In the lead-up to Sydney, he acknowledged that after playing brilliantly in Perth, his emotions overcame him in Melbourne, where he struggled in both innings. Sydney has shown to be a joyful place to hunt. Although he hasn’t been as dominant as he has been at some other Australian locations, he has still amassed four Test hundreds on his home deck, which ties him for most at a particular site in his Test career alongside Adelaide Oval and the Gabba. Warner will be looking to add one more, as will his teammates.

Arriving in Australia, Saud Shakeel was a rising star in the world of international cricket. However, similar to several athletes who have made a successful debut on the subcontinent, he has faced challenges during his initial visit to Australia. Although he has not been fully exposed—he has reached 20 in three of his four innings thus far—Pakistan has struggled with his inability to get going and is concerned about the way he has been dismissed. He has been dismissed three times by Josh Hazlewood, who has worked him over on the front and back foot from around the wicket. In the fourth innings in Melbourne, Mitchell Starc’s extra pace and bounce forced an error at a crucial point. Sydney should be a better fit for him than any other Australian Test strip. Pakistan needs runs from Shakeel if they are to defeat Australia in Australia.

Team news: Australia unchanged; no Shaheen Afridi for final Test

With a brash demeanor, Pat Cummins declared that Australia’s three fast bowlers may play in all five of the summer’s home Test matches as well as the next two in New Zealand in early March. Having kept the same lineup for the third straight Test match, they are on track.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Travis Head, 6 Mitchell Marsh 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan has made two changes to the team that was defeated in Melbourne during the second Test. Saim Ayub, who will be making his first appearance at the top of the order, has moved ahead of Imam. Imam has exerted a lot of effort and performed admirably under duress, but he hasn’t been able to damage Australia’s fast bowlers. The other, and most significant, alteration is that Sajid Khan, a specialist spinner, will replace Shaheen Shah Afridi in the Sydney Test. Abrar Ahmed, who is still injured, was not allowed to be there. After a strong showing in Melbourne, Hasan Ali has been kept on.

Pakistan 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Saim Ayub, 3 Shan Masood (capt), 4 Babar Azam, 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7 Agha Salman, 8 Sajid Khan, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Mir Hamza, 11 Aamer Jamal

Pitch and conditions

Given the caliber of some of the most recent Test pitches, curator Adam Lewis of SCG is under some pressure to create a strong Test surface. The weather has not been kind to him in recent years. Although the previous Shield pitch that was created received harsh criticism as well, it is anticipated that this Test pitch would perform admirably.

“I had a conversation with a few men,” Cummins stated. “There were two shield wickets, and everyone agreed that the first one was the nicest they had played on in a while. Yes, talking to the groundskeeper about the second one, it turned out to be a little drier than expected. Additionally, they had been experimenting with some new grass, which differs slightly from the test grass we had this week. We’ll head out there and take a look because it appears like everyone is content with the current situation.”

 

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