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Cricket-Australia win toss and bat in first Pakistan test
December 15, 2016 / 2:59 AM / in 10 months

Cricket-Australia win toss and bat in first Pakistan test

SYDNEY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat first in the day-night opening test against Pakistan in Brisbane on Thursday.

Australia were unchanged from the side that defeated South Africa in the dead rubber test in Adelaide, with spinner Nathan Lyon retained along with the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird.

“We’re going to have a bat. Looks good, little bit of moisture, just a normal (Gabba) wicket,” Smith said.

“It’ll speed up a little in the night and be a bit quicker tomorrow as well.”

The Australian had been pondering playing four quicks and handing a first cap to Chadd Sayers at a ground where they have not lost a test since 1988 but in the end kept Lyon in the side.

“He has done pretty well at this ground, hopefully get a bit of spin, bit of bounce and take a few wickets for us,” Smith said.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and leg-spinner Yasir Shah have been restored to the Pakistan side after missing the second test against New Zealand in Hamilton.

“Yasir is back so we’ve got three seamers and one spinner and six batsmen and (wicketkeeper) Sarfraz (Ahmed),” Misbah said.

“I think we have a very good chance, Australia has a lot of new faces, inexperienced guys so I think it’s the best chance we’ve got at the moment.”

Both teams enter the three-match series in uncertain form, with a rebuilding Australia beaten by 2-1 against South Africa, but reversing their slide with a comprehensive win in the day-night test at Adelaide Oval.

Pakistan lost 2-0 in New Zealand and are bidding to win their first series in Australia. (Reporting by Ian Ransom, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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