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Sunday February 25, 2024

Grassy track greets Pakistan for practice game

December 06, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricketers are likely to be welcomed by the traditional Australian fast and bouncy track for the four-day first class match against the Prime Minister XI at the Manuka Oval (Canberra) from Wednesday.

According to reports reaching here, the pitch prepared for the side match has got considerable grass on it, making it a pace-friendly wicket. “There is a lot of grass on the wicket. If it remains the same Wednesday morning, it would be more like a traditional Australian pitch that offers considerable bounce and pace to the fast bowlers,” a team official when contacted in Canberra, said.

Pakistans players attend a practice session at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on March 20, 2022. —AFP
Pakistan's players attend a practice session at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on March 20, 2022. —AFP

Pakistan camp did not finalise the playing XI for the side match and have left it for early Wednesday morning to decide on the team’s formation considering the state of wicket which would be there before the start of the match.

Pakistan captain Shan Masood praised his charges, saying Pakistan have good quality pace attack. “We have multiple pace bowling options. Khurram Shahzad and Mir Hamza are top performers of domestic cricket and Wasim Jr could exploit the reverse swing usually one can expect in Sydney. Abdullah Shafiq and Imamul Haq will open the innings while Babar Azam will come at No 4. I have always preferred batting at No 3.”

The News has learned that in case there comes a requirement of playing an extra batsman in any of the matches, Mohammad Rizwan will be preferred. On David Warner’s swansong series, Shan Masood paid tributes to the opening batsman. “Indeed the series holds immense importance for Warner. He has served his country’s cricket in the best possible way. We would try to make it a tough series for the southpaw.” Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hosted a reception in the team’s honour at the Parliament House in Canberra Tuesday evening.