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Pakistan vs Australia: The Battle of the Captains - Babar Azam vs Aaron Finch - Cricinfo


Pak vs Aus: A Rivalry That Spans Decades




Cricket is a sport that is loved and followed by millions of people around the world. It is a game that brings joy, excitement, passion, and pride to the fans and players alike. It is also a game that fosters healthy competition, respect, and friendship among different nations and cultures.


One of the most fascinating and enduring rivalries in cricket history is between Pakistan and Australia. These two teams have been playing against each other since 1956, and have produced some of the most memorable matches, moments, and performances in the sport.




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In this article, we will take a look at the history and significance of the Pak vs Aus rivalry, from its inception to its present state, and explore its past, present, and future prospects.


The Early Encounters (1956-1979)




The first Test series between Pakistan and Australia took place in Pakistan in 1956/57, when Australia toured the newly independent nation for a single Test match at Karachi. Pakistan won the match by nine wickets, thanks to a brilliant bowling performance by Fazal Mahmood, who took 13 wickets in the match.


The next series was held in Pakistan again in 1959/60, when Australia visited for a three-Test series. This time, Australia won the series 2-0, with Richie Benaud leading from the front with both bat and ball.


The first Test series in Australia was played in 1964/65, when Pakistan toured for a single Test match at Melbourne. The match ended in a draw, with both teams scoring over 300 runs in their first innings.


The 1970s saw some more competitive and exciting matches between the two teams, such as:


  • The Adelaide Test in 1972/73, when Greg Chappell scored a double century and Dennis Lillee took 11 wickets to help Australia win by an innings.



  • The Sydney Test in 1976/77, when Sarfraz Nawaz took nine wickets in an innings to inspire Pakistan to an eight-wicket victory.



  • The Perth Test in 1978/79, when Rodney Hogg took eight wickets in an innings to guide Australia to a seven-wicket win.



The Rise of Pakistan (1980-1999)




The 1980s and 1990s were arguably the golden era of Pakistani cricket, as they produced some of the finest players and performances in their history. They also dominated Australia in this period, winning six out of nine Test series against them.


Some of the key players and performances from both sides in this period were:


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  • Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to their first series win in Australia in 1981/82, and also took 28 wickets in the series.



  • Javed Miandad, who scored 1797 runs against Australia, the most by any player in the rivalry, and also hit a famous last-ball six to win the Sharjah Cup in 1986.



  • Wasim Akram, who took 41 wickets in 12 Tests against Australia, and also scored a century at Adelaide in 1990.



  • Shane Warne, who made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1992, and went on to take 90 wickets against them, the most by any bowler in the rivalry.



  • Mark Taylor, who scored 334 not out at Peshawar in 1998, equalling Don Bradman's record for the highest individual score by an Australian.



  • Saeed Anwar, who scored 194 at Chennai in 1997, the highest individual score by a Pakistani and the then world record for the highest ODI score.



The controversies and dramas that spiced up the rivalry in this period included:


  • The ball-tampering incident in 1994/95, when umpire Darrell Hair accused Pakistan of illegally altering the condition of the ball and awarded five penalty runs to Australia.



  • The forfeited Test in 1995/96, when Pakistan refused to take the field after being accused of cheating by umpire Ross Emerson.



  • The tied Test in 1998/99, when Australia levelled the scores on the last day after a dramatic run chase and a controversial run out of Ian Healy.



The Reign of Australia (2000-2019)




The 2000s and 2010s were the era of Australian dominance in world cricket, as they won three consecutive World Cups and reached the top of the Test rankings. They also overpowered Pakistan in this period, winning eight out of nine Test series against them.


Some of the record-breaking feats and achievements of the Australian team in this period were:


  • The whitewash of Pakistan in 2004/05, when they won all three Tests by an innings margin.



  • The world record chase of 414 at Perth in 2008/09, when they overhauled Pakistan's target with six wickets to spare.



  • The triple century of Michael Clarke at Sydney in 2011/12, when he scored 329 not out and declared the innings.



  • The hat-trick of Mitchell Starc at Brisbane in 2016/17, when he dismissed Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in three consecutive deliveries.



  • The double century of David Warner at Adelaide in 2019/20, when he scored 335 not out and became the second-highest individual scorer for Australia.



Some of the challenges and struggles faced by Pakistan in this era were:


  • The spot-fixing scandal in 2010, when three Pakistani players were found guilty of deliberately bowling no-balls for money.



  • The exile from home grounds due to security reasons, which forced them to play their home matches in neutral venues like UAE and England.



  • The inconsistency and instability of their team selection and captaincy, which resulted in frequent changes and poor performances.



The Current Scenario (2020-2023)


How Pakistan and Australia have fared in recent times:


  • Pakistan have won only one Test match against Australia since 2010, which was at Abu Dhabi in 2014/15, when they won by 356 runs and sealed a 2-0 series win.



  • Australia have won their last six Test matches against Pakistan, including a 3-0 whitewash in Australia in 2019/20, when they scored over 500 runs in each of their innings.



  • Pakistan have fared better in the limited-overs formats, winning the 2019 ODI series in UAE 2-1, and the 2021 T20I series in Pakistan 2-1.



  • Australia have also had some success in the shorter formats, winning the 2018 T20I tri-series in Zimbabwe, which involved Pakistan, and the one-off T20I match in Pakistan in 2021.



The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cricket schedules and formats:


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the cricket calendar and forced many series and tournaments to be postponed or cancelled.



  • The ICC World Test Championship, which was supposed to conclude with a final in June 2021, was extended until June 2022, due to the loss of matches and points.



  • The ICC T20 World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November 2020, was shifted to India in October-November 2021, and then to UAE and Oman due to the surge of cases in India.



  • The bilateral series between Pakistan and Australia have also been affected by the pandemic. The two teams were supposed to play two Tests and three T20Is in Pakistan in March-April 2020, but the series was postponed indefinitely.



  • The two teams are now scheduled to play three Tests and three ODIs in Pakistan in March-April 2022, as part of the ICC World Test Championship and the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.



The upcoming series and tournaments involving the two teams:


  • Pakistan are currently hosting New Zealand for three ODIs and five T20Is, followed by England for two T20Is, as part of their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup.



  • Australia are currently touring Bangladesh for five T20Is, followed by West Indies for three ODIs and three T20Is, as part of their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup.



  • The ICC T20 World Cup will be held from October 17 to November 14, 2021, in UAE and Oman. Pakistan and Australia are placed in Group 2, along with India, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two qualifiers.



  • The ICC World Test Championship will resume from August 4, 2021, with a new cycle of matches and points. Pakistan and Australia are among the nine teams competing for the title.



  • The ICC Cricket World Cup Super League will continue until March 31, 2023, with a total of 13 teams playing eight series each. Pakistan and Australia are among the teams vying for a direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.



The Future Prospects (2024 and beyond)




How Pakistan and Australia can prepare for the next cycle of cricket events:


  • Pakistan need to improve their batting and fielding standards, which have been their weak areas in recent times. They also need to find a stable and consistent opening pair, and a reliable middle-order batsman.



  • Australia need to strengthen their spin bowling department, which has been their Achilles heel in subcontinental conditions. They also need to groom a successor for Tim Paine, who is nearing the end of his career as a wicketkeeper and captain.



  • Both teams need to invest in their domestic cricket structures, and develop more quality players who can perform at the international level. They also need to adopt a more flexible and adaptable approach to different formats and situations.



The emerging talents and stars to watch out for from both sides:


  • Pakistan have some exciting young players who have shown promise and potential in recent times, such as Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Haider Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shadab Khan.



  • Australia have some promising young players who have impressed with their skills and temperament in recent times, such as Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, and Josh Philippe.



The expectations and hopes of the fans and experts for the rivalry:


  • Pakistan fans and experts hope that their team can regain their lost glory and pride, and challenge Australia in their own backyard. They also hope that their team can play more matches at home, and attract more international teams to visit Pakistan.



  • Australia fans and experts hope that their team can maintain their supremacy and dominance over Pakistan, and win more series and trophies. They also hope that their team can continue to produce world-class players, and entertain the fans with their style and flair.



Conclusion




Pakistan vs Australia is a rivalry that spans decades, and has produced some of the most thrilling and captivating matches in cricket history. It is a rivalry that showcases the best of cricket, with skill, passion, drama, and sportsmanship.


In this article, we have traced the history and significance of the Pak vs Aus rivalry, from its inception to its present state, and explored its past, present, and future prospects. We have also highlighted some of the key players, performances, controversies, challenges, achievements, expectations, and hopes associated with the rivalry.


We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article, and learned something new about the Pak vs Aus rivalry. If you have any comments or questions about the topic, please feel free to share them with us in the section below. We would love to hear from you!


FAQs




  • When was the first Test match between Pakistan and Australia played?



The first Test match between Pakistan and Australia was played at Karachi in 1956/57.


  • Who has scored the most runs in the Pak vs Aus rivalry?



Javed Miandad has scored the most runs in the Pak vs Aus rivalry, with 1797 runs in 28 Tests.


  • Who has taken the most wickets in the Pak vs Aus rivalry?



Shane Warne has taken the most wickets in the Pak vs Aus rivalry, with 90 wickets in 15 Tests.


  • Which team has won the most Test series in the Pak vs Aus rivalry?



Australia has won the most Test series in the Pak vs Aus rivalry, with 14 series wins out of 23.


  • Which team has won the most ODI matches in the Pak vs Aus rivalry?



Australia has won the most ODI matches in the Pak vs Aus rivalry, with 68 wins out of 104.




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