Australia vs Pakistan 3rd Test: Preview and Prediction

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Pakistan to face Australia in the 3rd Test on January 3rd

The Australian Cricket Team has set the tone for the Australian Summers, securing victories in the first two test matches of the three-match series against Shan Masood-led Pakistan. As the focus shifts to the New Year Test at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting on Wednesday, Pat Cummins‘ leadership aims for a series whitewash against the visitors.

Pakistan’s challenging time on Australian soil persists, with a disheartening streak of 16 consecutive test losses. The team, once at the pinnacle of the World Test Championship (WTC) Table before the series commenced, now finds itself in the 5th position, while the hosts have ascended to 3rd place.

SCG, known for favoring spinners, becomes the battleground for the upcoming Pink Test on Wednesday. Pakistan, eager to exploit the conditions, anticipates the return of their mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, who missed the first two tests due to injury and a Test debut for the young Pakistani cricketer Saim Ayub is also on the cards. 

Conversely, the hosts, Australia, are anticipated to maintain an unchanged playing XI. The Sydney test holds special significance as it marks the final test match in David Warner‘s illustrious career, as the local hero prepares to bid farewell on his home turf.

What have they done so far?

Before the ongoing Test series, Australia faced off against England in the Ashes 2023, securing victories in the initial two matches but faltering in the subsequent three, resulting in a 2-2 scoreline. The penultimate test, marked by persistent rain, ended in a draw, favoring Australia, who were on the brink of losing that particular match.

Meanwhile, Pakistan embarked on a tour to Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series in July, displaying dominance as they swept the hosts aside, achieving a resounding 2-0 whitewash. Pakistani emerging talents Saud Shakeel and Abdullah Shafique displayed exceptional prowess by smashing double centuries in the first and the second test respectively.

Notably, the team was led by star batsman Babar Azam in that series. However, in the current ongoing series, freed from the burdens of captaincy, Babar’s bat has still surprisingly fallen silent, emerging as a significant factor in Pakistan’s losses in the initial two matches at Perth and Melbourne. Babar’s poor run in test cricket throughout 2023 saw him only amass 204 runs in 9 innings, averaging 22.67.

Australia secures the Test series against Pakistan with one match yet to be played

In the initial test at Perth, Australia dominated, securing a resounding victory by a staggering 360-run margin. The Boxing Day test saw Pakistan closing in on a series leveller by chasing 317 runs in the fourth innings. However, a five-wicket haul by the Australian captain thwarted Pakistan’s efforts, leading to a 79-run win for the hosts in the second match at Melbourne.

Head to Head Record

In the historic encounters between Australia and Pakistan in test cricket, they have faced each other 71 times. Impressively, Australia has asserted its dominance with 36 victories, overshadowing Pakistan’s 15 wins, while 20 matches concluded as draws.

Examining their bilateral test series record, the two nations have contested 25 series prior to the ongoing one. Australia has demonstrated its cricketing prowess by clinching victory in 14 series, while Pakistan has secured triumph in 7 series. Notably, 4 test series concluded with both teams evenly matched, resulting in draws.

Key Players 

Steven Smith (Australia): Steven Smith, renowned as one of the finest Test batsmen of the current generation, displays an exceptional fondness for batting and racking up runs at his home ground, the SCG. Smith boasts an impressive track record at this venue, amassing 1017 runs across 15 innings with a staggering average of 72.64, inclusive of 4 centuries and 7 fifties. 

Smith holds the record for Most Test Centuries (32) among active players

At 34 years old, Smith’s stellar performance in 2023 solidified his standing as the second-highest run-scorer in Test cricket. Across 24 innings, he notched up 929 runs with an average of 42.33, featuring 3 centuries, including a crucial one in the WTC 2023 finals in June, and 3 fifties. As the new year dawns, Smith stands as a serious contender to commence it with a substantial score.

Shan Masood (Pakistan): Shan Masood emerged as a standout performer amidst the formidable host’s bowling attack in the first two matches. In the ongoing series, Masood’s contributions, with scores of 30, 2, 54, and 60, total 146 runs at an impressive average of 36.50.

What sets Masood apart is not just his runs but the manner in which he accumulated them. With the second-best strike rate in the series at 72.64, trailing only Mitchell Marsh’s 79.45, Pakistan’s skipper showcases not only resilience but also an attacking approach at the crease.

As the series progresses to an end, there’s anticipation surrounding Masood’s potential for a three-digit score, a feat that, if achieved, would mark him as the first-ever Pakistan captain to do so at the SCG.

Predicted Playing XIs

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuachagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins ©, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood 

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood ©, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Aamer Jamal, Shaheen Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Mir Hamza


If Pakistan manages to secure the SCG test, it will be the utmost upset for Australia and the biggest miracle for Pakistan. Pakistan showed grit and fighting spirit in the Boxing Day test but failed to cross the last hurdle and now they will be looking forward to turning the tables against the hosts in the dead rubber match.

Yet, the daunting reality persists – Pakistan faces the looming threat of a 17th consecutive test loss on Australian soil unless they deploy innovative and daring cricket strategies that could catch both Pat Cummins’ team and the SCG crowd off guard. The Australian team will be hungry to whitewash the series and climb one step upwards on the WTC table, moving from the third position to the second.