Australia’s middle order worries and the series loss in Abu Dhabi

Unlike first test match in Abu Dhabi, Australia couldn’t fight back as they collapsed in both the innings in the second match. They had Pakistan for 57/5 on the first session with some brilliant bowling by Nathan Lyon. However, batting failure in both the innings meant they lost the match by 373 runs on Day 4. The middle order failure in three innings in the tour will raise questions for the management with another big series against India in a couple of months time. Usman Khawaja’s injury will add more worries to the already depleted batting unit.
With a target of 538 runs and two days to bat in the second innings, it was impossible for Australia to even think about a draw. Usman Khawaja didn’t open the innings due to an injury which will keep him away for sometime from the field brought in Shaun Marsh to open the innings along with Finch.
The partnership didn’t last long as Mohammad Abbas struck on third day evening. Finch and Head did manage to resist the rest of the overs and a few on the fourth day morning. However, Australia middle order collapsed once Travis Head departed. Finch who had a decent series in Pakistan fell soon after which triggered the batting collapse once again.
Australia will be worried about the Marsh brothers batting failures in the series. Tim Paine may have to improve his batting as he rebuilds the team in the test format. Marnus and Starc did fight for some time, but it wasn’t enough to save Australia. Finch may be the only positive they can carry from this series as the opener played remarkably well in his debut test series. Australian team management will have a lot to sort out before India tour of Australia in November.
On the other hand, Pakistan has unearthed another gem of a fast bowler in Mohammad Abbas. Sarfaraz having a couple of good innings will be another factor which will please them. Hafeez had a good run so as Babar Azam in the series. Bilal Asif was another find for them who can form a formidable partnership with Yasir Shaw as they move on to the next tour.

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