Australia’s cricketers had been heading residence Wednesday after finishing their first tour to Pakistan since 1998.
Pat Cummins’ facet gained the three-Take a look at collection 1-0, misplaced the one-day internationals 2-1 and rounded off an incident-free journey with victory within the lone Twenty20 worldwide.
AFP Sports activities highlights 5 issues we discovered from the primary full tour to Pakistan by a prime Take a look at-playing nation because the deadly assault on a Sri Lanka workforce bus in Lahore in 2009.
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– It’s secure to tour –
A full-strength Australia squad had been greeted by head of state-style safety with a whole lot of policemen and navy personnel guarding their accommodations and routes to the grounds.
The matches handed off with out incident in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore and the gamers, regardless of additionally being below strict Covid protocols, had been even capable of get out for a spherical of golf.
Pakistan will likely be hoping the profitable Australian tour has paved the way in which for England and New Zealand to return after each referred to as off collection in Pakistan final yr citing unspecified safety considerations.
– Pitches fail the Take a look at –
The Take a look at collection was blighted by flat pitches that supplied nothing for the bowlers.
The opening match, on a Rawalpindi pitch deemed “under common” by the Worldwide Cricket Council, noticed simply 14 wickets fall as 1,187 runs had been eked out in a bore draw.
The second Take a look at pitch in Karachi was additionally gradual and low and noticed drama solely within the closing session of the ultimate day when a late flurry of wickets noticed Pakistan grasp on for a draw.
Then it took Cummins’ daring declaration with virtually two days’ play remaining in Lahore to earn Australia a win and the collection on one other placid pitch.
At the least the batsmen-friendly surfaces made for extra of a spectacle within the white-ball video games.
The spotlight was Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq each scoring centuries as Pakistan thrillingly accomplished a file ODI run chase of 349 with an over to spare in Lahore to maintain the collection alive.
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– Be ready –
Australia had been capable of compete after they stepped into the unfamiliar territory of Pakistan due to meticulous analysis and preparation that even included learning home match performances intimately.
The outcome was an Australia squad capable of cowl each eventuality.
The vacationers had selection of their spin and fast-bowling choices, and chosen skilled batsmen who may adapt to the circumstances — together with Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja, one of many tour’s huge success tales.
– Khawaja at residence –
Khawaja’s mother and father had been unable to journey to see him play, however their son did them proud as he plundered 496 runs at a median of 165.33 with two centuries to be the very best scorer within the collection.
It capped off a fairytale return to Take a look at cricket for Khawaja, who had not performed since 2019 when he was recalled for the fourth Ashes Take a look at at Sydney in January.
He memorably scored a century in every innings on the SCG and his stellar run of scores on this tour of 97, 160, 44 not out, 91 and 104 not out have cemented the 35-year-old’s place on the prime of Australia’s order.
– Azam joins the elite –
Pakistan captain Azam was already famend as one of many world’s best white-ball batsmen however he can now justifiably be a part of the ranks of Australia’s Steve Smith, India’s Virat Kohli, England’s Joe Root and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson as a modern-day grasp.
“Glad we don’t must bowl to Babar any extra for some time,” stated limited-overs captain Aaron Finch after Azam prime scored for the third match working with 66 in his facet’s 162-8 in Tuesday’s lone T20 worldwide.
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Azam stood tall in all three codecs however his 425-ball, 607-minute, career-best 196 to avoid wasting the second Take a look at in Karachi was an epic.
Two years after his final Take a look at century, his extraordinary show was the very best fourth-innings rating by a captain in historical past.
There was no let-up within the ODI collection as he smashed back-to-back a whole lot within the final two matches in Lahore to steer Pakistan’s come-from-behind 2-1 victory.
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