Injuries, positive cases of Kovid-19 and bad weather are looming large over the first Test match between Pakistan and Australia starting on Friday. There have been at least one case of Kovid-19 in both the teams. Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf will miss the first Test while Australia’s bowling consultant Fawad Ahmed has also tested positive.
Rain, injury and the shadow of Kovid in the first match
Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf have been ruled out due to injuries. He has been replaced by fast bowler Naseem Shah and all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed. Rainfall in Rawalpindi on Thursday kept both the teams confined to their respective hotels and there is a possibility of rain in the last three days of the Test match as well.
This is the first time since 1998 that Australia will play a Test match in Pakistan. The Australian team reached Pakistan on Sunday and got a chance to practice in just two sessions.
Australian captain Pat Cummins said he knows which players will be in his playing XI. “We know what our team will be and what we want to do, but we don’t want to make a final decision until we assess the wicket thoroughly,” Cummins said on Thursday. I don’t think the wicket will be fast. We will probably go with two spinners and three fast bowlers.
On the other hand, Pakistan captain Babar Azam is confident that his team will give a tough challenge to Australia. “As captain, I am confident that I will have the best XI to give a tough challenge to Australia. Unfortunately today rain disturbed but we will look at the wicket before finalizing the team.