Australia makes no changes for final Test against Pakistan

Australia will be unchanged against Pakistan for the series-deciding third and final Test in Lahore starting from Monday, captain Pat Cummins said on the eve of the match.

Australia's Pat Cummins, left, and Mitchell Swepson, center, shake hands with Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan and Nauman Ali.   -  AP

Australia will be unchanged against Pakistan for the series-deciding third and final Test in Lahore starting from Monday, captain Pat Cummins said on the eve of the match.

Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson will be the two spinners for the visitors, Cummins told reporters. The first two Tests of the series, in Rawalpindi and Karachi, ended in draws.

READ | Steve Smith hopes to convert start to a hundred in Lahore

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said the hosts will take a call on their team after a final look at the wicket at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium, which will be hosting a Test match after 13 years.

Australia fell three wickets short of victory and a 1-0 series lead in the second match despite setting Pakistan a 506-run chase and bowling more than 171 overs. "We were really happy with how all 11 players went last Test," Cummins, the team's fast bowling spearhead, said on Sunday.

READ | PAK v AUS: Rival captains expect another slow wicket in series decider  

"Everyone has pulled up really well. We gave them an extra couple of days to make sure everyone has come up good. But there's no injury worries, everyone is freshened up so we're confident in the XI."

Swepson picked up two wickets on debut in the first innings in Karachi but failed to add to his tally with several chances being missed off his bowling in the second innings.

"We feel like we've got all bases covered if needed, whether it's reverse swing or swing later in the game," added Cummins.

"I think what's been clear ... is the way we've gone about it is the right way. I've been really happy with how everyone has gone about their work (and) the tactics. I think it's just a matter of taking those chances.

"Wickets are at a premium in this series so you can't afford to drop too many chances. We created more than 10 chances, we just unfortunately didn't take them, so that's going to be the challenge this week."

Kohli, Babar complete batters

Babar Azam, who scored 196 against Australia in the drawn second Test earlier this week, has often been compared to India's Virat Kohli.

Asked to compare the two, Cummins said, "They are both really complete batters no matter what format you play, they present their challenges. They are both really high quality (players), both have scored centuries against Australia over the years."

Talking about the similarities of the current top batters of the world including Kohli, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, England Test captain Joe Root and Azam, Cummins said none of them were easily flustered. "All know their game incredibly well, They are never flustered, happy to bat long periods of time. If there is an opportunity, they get off the mark pretty quickly, start accumulating the runs really quickly. Unless you are right on the money from the first ball you feel like they are already into their innings," he added.

Banning usage of saliva not a big deal - Cummins

Cummins says the permanent ban on the usage of saliva won't be a "big deal" for seam bowlers.

The ICC, in its playing conditions, barred the usage of saliva in May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MCC, the custodian of cricket laws, recently imposed a complete ban on the usage of saliva while announcing its amended 2022 code.

"I don't think it has made a huge effect, as big as we might have thought it would. We can still use sweat so it's not too big a deal," Cummins said.

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