Sports

Pakistan win toss, bowl in 2nd Test against Australia

MELBOURNE: Pakistan captain Shan Masood won the toss and opted to bowl in the second Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

The hosts are looking to seal the three-Test series after thumping the visitors by 360 runs in Perth, and go into the game with an unchanged side.

Pakistan preferred Mohammad Nawaz to keep wicket ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed while fast bowlers Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali both play after being overlooked for the first Test.

They come in for injured paceman Khurram Shahzad and Faheem Ashraf, who was axed.

It means an all-pace attack led by the experienced Shaheen Shah Afridi and impressive newcomer Aamer Jamal, with no room for a specialist spinner.

“Just looking at the MCG pitch over the past few years and the bowling side has done well, and there´s been a bit of weather around,” Masood said of choosing to field.

After heavy rain on Christmas Day, the weather had cleared Tuesday, although afternoon showers are forecast.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins said he too would have bowled.

“We all pulled up really well after Perth. We´re in the fortunate position where everyone is going pretty well,” he said in explaining why the team was unchanged.

Pakistan have performed poorly in Australia, losing 15 Tests on the trot with their last win in 1995.

Teams

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood (capt), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza, Aamer Jamal

Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG), Joel Wilson (WIS)

TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)

Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

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