RAWALPINDI: The surface set at Pindi Stadium for the inaugural Test of Pakistan’s much-anticipated home series against Australia is expected to favour spinners, The News reported, citing experts.
With the exception that it may favour pacers for the opening two hours, the barren-looking pitch is identical to typical Pakistan tracks.
According to experts, the surface might take a turn towards the tea break, aiding fast bowlers early in the day.
“Even on opening day, the pitch has all the components for a spin,” one of them said.
“In all probability, spinners would be the ones making the decisions here. A strong hostile stint from a pacer may be beneficial, but the spinners will have the last say “When asked if a spinner would get to play a key role on the track, he answered affirmatively.
However, Australia’s first Test in Pakistan in 24 years is still threatened by rain, but even storm clouds on the eve of the match failed to dampen the spirits of opposing captains Pat Cummins and Babar Azam.
Both teams were unable to practise Thursday due to inclement weather, but the outlook is clear for Friday and the most of Saturday, with showers anticipated on the last three days of play.
Despite the weather, Cummins and Azam were set up for the historic Test — being played in front of a sell-out 16,000 crowd in Rawalpindi, the garrison city just south of the capital, Islamabad.
Australia have not visited Pakistan since 1998 for to security concerns, and as a consequence, are unfamiliar with the local fields.
‘Appears to be a decent wicket’
“As expected, it appears to be a good wicket,” Cummins told reporters ahead of the match.
He predicted Australia will likely use three fast bowlers or two spinners in the Test.
“All we want to do is take another look at the wicket,” he explained.
“It’s a setback for Pakistan, but there is always another man who can come up,” Cummins added.
No longer Covid-19 expresses concern over the Pakistan camp
The clouds of terror have now lifted, as all three of Haris Rauf’s direct contacts have been routinely tested negative for Covid-19, allowing the Pakistan camp to breathe a sigh of relief.
Haris’s direct contacts were Shaheen Shah Afridi, Abdullah Shafique, and Malang Ali (support personnel). However, repeated tests taken on all three individuals over the previous four days revealed that they were negative.
“This is excellent news for Pakistan cricket, since there had been concerns that someone might be recruited. The PCB tracked Haris’s immediate contacts and determined that all three were negative after multiple testing,” a source told ‘The News’.
Haris and Fawad Ahmad, an Australian spin bowling guru, contracted Covid-19 during the PSL’s winning celebrations. —