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Australia vs. Pakistan Test: Can hosts climb back up world rankings with opening win?

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Punters have given Australia odds of just 1/4 to overcome Pakistan in the first of their two Test matches against Pakistan.

A Pakistan win is currently available at 13/2, with a draw also currently 13/2.

Australia cruised to 2-0 T20 series win against Pakistan, and they continue to host Pakistan, this time in a two-Test series. The Aussies then host New Zealand in a three-Test series soon after.

The opener against Pakistan is, however, the main focus point now. It takes place at The Gabba in Brisbane, with the Adelaide Oval playing host to Test number two.

It arguably won’t be the spectacle it used to be between the pair. Australia head into the meeting in fifth place in the Test rankings, two places ahead of their opponents.

Nonetheless, both teams will be out with a point to prove when the action starts on Thursday.

Australia go into the opening match as favourites, with the Test player rankings providing them with an added boost of confidence.

Undoubtedly on top of his game and on top of the world, Steve Smith leads the batting standings. The 30-year-old has had an incredible year with the bat, and will be looking to improve on his tally against Pakistan.

Smith has been given odds of 6/4 to top score for Australia in the series opener.

His fellow Australian Pat Cummins has climbed to the top of the bowling leaderboard, and he will be out for more wickets come Thursday. He’s 12/5 to be his side’s top bowler.

The hosts also boast Mitchell Starc in their roster. The talented all-rounder is currently 3/1 to be the best bowler for Australia in Test number one.

Other Aussies looking to impress with the ball include Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. They are 11/5 and 4/1 to be their nation’s best bowler in the first Test.

David Warner can be backed at 3/1 to top score for the home side. Both Marnus Lambuschagne and Joe Burns are currently 9/2 to top score with the bat.

For the visitors, it’s Babar Azam, Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq who have been backed to produce with the bat and score runs for Pakistan. Azam is currently available at 9/4. Sohail and Shafiq are currently 9/2 and 4/1 respectively to top score for the travelling side.

Mohammad Abbas can be backed at 11/4 to be their best bowler. Imran Khan and Shaheen Afridi will also be looking to impress with the ball. They are 3/1 and 10/3 respectively to be Pakistan’s top bowler.

It’s an important stepping stone for both sides as they look to improve on their current Test standings. 

But it’s the Australians who are destined to come out on top. It’s 5/1 for the man of the match trophy to end up with Smith, 8/1 with Warner and 10/1 with Cummins.

Sports Journalism graduate, Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan. Currently working as a freelance journalist for GOAL, while I am a graduate of the FISU Young Reporters Programme at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Can follow me on Twitter or view my linkdin biography or contact me via my email .

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