Australia name unchanged team for Warner's farewell Test, Pakistan drop Shaheen - GulfToday

Australia name unchanged team for Warner's farewell Test, Pakistan drop Shaheen


Former Australian bowler Glenn McGrath (front row C) poses with Pakistan's players ahead of the third Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday. AFP

Australia opted on Tuesday against playing a second spinner in the final Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground, naming an unchanged line-up for David Warner's farewell match.

Skipper Pat Cummins confirmed Australia's fast-bowling trio had all recovered well from the second Test in Melbourne four days ago after clinching the three-match series with a tense 79-run win.

Pakistan have made two changes. There is a Test debut for Saim Ayub, who will open the innings replacing Imam-Ul Haq while senior fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been left out for off-spinner Sajid Khan.

"You always have to look at the bigger picture after a game like the MCG. We've learned the lessons, at least we've put ourselves in those positions from where we could compete in or dominate games," Pakistan captain Shan Masood said on Tuesday.

"It's now about not repeating mistakes, and if we can put in similar efforts to the one in Melbourne, we'll be winning a lot of Tests."

Masood said that the decision to rest the left-arm pacer was based on his recent heavy workload, and the management aims to monitor and manage it effectively.

"Shaheen Afridi has bowled most overs in world cricket in recent times. He gives his 150% in the training sessions as well. He keeps motivating his teammates. He is our main player. We'll make sure we look after Shaheen Afridi really well,” said Masood.

The SCG has a reputation for taking turn, but the hosts did not consider bringing a second spinner into the team to partner Nathan Lyon, Cummins said.

The pitch looked well-grassed on the eve of Pakistan's final match of their Australia tour, which will also be opener Warner's 112th and final Test.

"The weather looks pretty good this week and that's not always the case in Sydney," Cummins said ahead of the Test, starting on Wednesday. "The groundsman seems happy with where it's at. It looks like decent coverage of grass, so it should be a good week ahead."

The Sydney Test has a history of being rain-affected with 26 washed out days, the most of the Australian Test venues. But there is only a medium chance of showers this week.

Cummins also detailed the significant influence Warner exerted on the entire team, expressing that his presence as an individual will be deeply missed after the conclusion of the third Test in Sydney.

"There’s always something going on with Davey. It’s always fun, (he) brings a lot of good energy to the group. Over the course of over a dozen years, we’ve gone through a lot together. It’s been great and he’s going to be sorely missed," Cummins told Sen Cricket.

Warner appeals for return of stolen baggy green: Warner made a public plea for the return of his baggy green caps after they went missing from his bag while being transported from Melbourne.

In a post on Instagram, the veteran said some of his possessions got lost in transit. "Someone has taken my backpack out of my luggage from Melbourne to Sydney ... inside this backpack was my Baggy Green cap," Warner said. "It's something that I would love to have back in my hands walking out there this week."

After months of speculation about his place in the team, Warner will get the send-off he desired in his home city after scores of 164, 0, 38 and six in the Pakistan series so far.

"Best-case scenario is a (Warner) hundred and maybe a leg-spinner to take the last wicket of the game out of the rough," Cummins said.

"If he could score some runs and go off in style with a few fours and sixes, I think that'd be a pretty fitting end. 'Warner Week' has started."

Warner, 37, goes into his final Test having plundered 8,695 runs at an average of 44.58, with 26 centuries and 36 half-centuries.


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