Australia are set to face Pakistan in their first visit to the Asian country since 1998. The Kangaroos will play three Tests, three ODIs, and one T20I match against the hosts in the historic tour, which will kick-off on Friday with the red-ball game at a sold-out Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
While the Australian batting line-up will be challenged in the sub-continent conditions, they will rely heavily on their bowling attack comprising skipper Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
The tourists also have an unwavering option in Nathan Lyon, who has got over 400 Test wickets under his belt. Pakistan, on the other hand, will pin their hopes on skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to withstand a stern bowling test against the cherry. Meanwhile, former Australia pacer Brett Lee has identified Babar as the “biggest threat” for the visitors, saying the star Pakistan cricketer has got a top-tier technique in his batting weaponry.
“He’s absolutely world-class. Tell me a guy in world cricket who has got a better technique or cover drive than Babar. You can think of three guys… one being Kohli, one being Root and Williamson also springs to mind. Babar is an attacking player but his technique is absolutely first-class. He’s definitely Australia’s biggest threat. You’ve to get Babar out early and try to nick him off as any batsman can get nicked off. That’s probably Australia’s greatest way to win this Test series,” said Lee on the Follow-On podcast.
Babar also earned praise from Lyon, who said he was relishing the challenge of bowling against one of the world’s top batters. The 27-year-old Babar is currently the No. 1 ranked T20I and ODI player, and is placed ninth in the Test rankings.
“I have always said from day one of my career that I want to compete against the best players in the world, and Babar is definitely one of those guys,” said Lyon in a video presser ahead of the first Test.
After the Test series opener in Rawalpindi from March 4-8, the second match will be held in Karachi from March 12-16, while the third will take place in Lahore from March 21-25.