Australia looked a solid team in all departments of the second Test as they defeated Pakistan to clinch the three-match Test series. With Australia declaring just before lunch and a181-run lead on the final day, one thought that the match was heading for a draw, but some incredible bowling performance from Mitchell Starc, picking up four wickets, helped Australia come out on top. Pakistan were dismissed for 163 runs, and Australia clinched the match by an innings and 18 runs.
Here are some talking points from the second Test match
Azhar Ali scripts history
Ali's double ton will be remembered for a long time in Pakistan cricket history as he broke record after record with his unbeaten 205 runs in ths first innings. He created a number of firsts, en route to that magnificent double hundred. He became the first Pakistan batsman to hit two double hundreds in a year and also the lone Pakistani to score a double ton in Australia. With such an innings, the right-hander has showed that he is gradually becoming an important player for Pakistan. His 205 not out reflects that the batsman can flourish against top quality attacks in bouncy conditions too. Ali was not perturbed with either Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood running in at full steam, trying to get under his chin and dismiss him.
David Warner is Australia's Virender Sehwag
If Ali scored a magnificent double ton, Warner was on a league of his won with the bat, scoring a marvellous hundred. It was his 16th hundred of his Test career, but it was his aggressive batting, which stole the show. His 143-ball 144, which included 17 fours and one six, put Australia in a strong position in the first innings, despite Pakistan's declaration. Warner finished the year on a impressive note, accumulating 748 runs.
Misbah Ul Haq's form worrisome for Pakistan
The Pakistan skipper is one of their best batsmen in the current squad, and players look up to him for a solid performance with the bat. Unfortunately, Misbah has been poor, with scores of 4, 5, 11, and 0 in his four innings in the Test series. With Misbah holding an important place in the middle order, there is a serious need for him to start scoring else the series could be more disastrous for the visitors.
The modern day tail enders are no mug with the bat
Gone are the days when bowlers were only thought of as someone to pick up the ball and get wickets, they are now playing an important role in contributing to the team total. Sohail Khan, coming to bat at number eight, treated fans to a major show with 65-ball 65, studded with six fours and four sixes. For Australia, Mitchell Starc at number eight, hit 91-ball 84 to push Australia's score beyond 600 runs.
Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc – deadly combo
The lanky pacers are Australia's premier fast bowlers in the current team and form an integral part of the side. Though Mitchell Starc, who finished off with a bang, picking up quality wickets, with his blistering pace is always going to be the star bowler, Hazlewood's good line and length will always make life difficult for the batsmen. They pressurise batsmen from both ends, eventually leading to their dismissal. Collectively, they took 10 wickets in the Test match.