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Warner loves the Gabba and is set to make runs against Pakistan

Tue, Dec 13, 12:15pm by Bren O'Brien

Preview: Australia v Pakistan, First Test

Date and Time: Thursday December 15, 2pm AEDT (1pm local)

Venue: Gabba, Brisbane

TV: Channel Nine

Brisbane has had to wait to host its historic first-ever day-night Test match and there is plenty of interest in exactly how the pink ball will behave in the humidity of a Queensland summer.

Australia’s record at the Gabba is famously strong, having not lost a Test at the ground since 1988 and accordingly, they go into the match as $1.36 favourites with Pakistan at $6.20, the same price as a draw. Pakistan haven’t played a Test in Queensland since 1999.

WATCH: Our Preview of the first Test

It certainly won’t be an easy task for a touring Pakistani side which is rich in talent but not rich on experience. They did face the pink ball in a recent tour match in Cairns, while they have also played a pink ball Test against West Indies in Dubai in October, a match they won.

However, a dry deck in Dubai and a grassy track at the Gabba are two very different things and there will be substantial pressure on their batsmen, who failed to get past 230 in their four innings in the recent 2-0 series loss to New Zealand.

They will need good performances from experienced trio Azhar Ali, Younis Khan and Misbah Ul Haq at the top of the order if they are going to prevent the soft belly of their middle and lower order being exposed.  Accordingly, Misbah is $4.50 favourite to be their top scorer in their first innings, with Azhar and Younis both $5.

Of course, Australia’s batting is also short of experience with Matt Renshaw, Nic Maddinson and Peter Handscomb all playing just their second Tests. Handscomb, who is $7 to lead Australia’s scoring in the first innings, looked the most ready to perform at this level, while Renshaw showed plenty of resilience in his innings and is $6 to top score, with Maddinson, who struggled, is at $8.

No surprise that David Warner is $3.25 favourite to top Australia’s scoring in their first dig given he is coming off back-to-back tons in the one-day format and scored a century in each innings on this ground last year.

Skipper Steve Smith is $3.50, despite failing to past 50 in six innings against South Africa. Usman Khawaja, Australia’s lone centurion in that South African series, is $5.

In terms of bowling, Mitch Starc finished off the South African series well and is $2.63 to be leading wicket taker in the first innings here, while Josh Hazlewood, who took 17 wickets in the three Tests against the Proteas, is $3. Nathan Lyon, largely ineffective so far this summer, could be set for a better time of it. He has taken 24 wickets in five Tests at the Gabba and is $6 to take most first-innings wickets.

Pakistan’s bowling line-up has a huge amount of talent, but the usual array of question marks over them. Mohammed Amir’s cricket journey has been a rollercoaster, but the 24-year-old has the ability to move the pink ball around and he is $3 to take the most wickets in the first innings. Yasir Shah is a prodigiously talented spinner, but has to overcome a back injury to play here. You wouldn’t be taken the $4 on the leading wicket-taker market for him until the team is named.

Rahat Ali might be worth a wager at $5. He has taken 16 wickets in five Tests in 2016 and took five wickets in the recent tour match in Cairns.

The momentum of the summer has changed dramtivally in Australia’s favour thanks to that face-saving Test win in Adelaide and a series ODI sweep against New Zealand given the Australian dominance at the Gabba over the years, you would expect them to get the job done here. The price ($1.36) is a little short for us though.

Suggested Bet:  We’ll take Warner to be Australia’s top scorer in the first innings at $3.25 and have a little bet on Rahat Ali to be Pakistan’s leading first inning wicket-taker at $5.

Match betting 

Australia $1.36

Draw $6.20

Pakistan $6.20

Draw No Bet 

Australia $1.25

Pakistan $3.70

To Win the Toss 

Australia $1.87

Pakistan $1.87

Top Australia Runscorer – 1st Innings 

David Warner $3.25

Steve Smith $3.50

Usman Khawaja $5

Matthew Renshaw $6

Peter Handscomb $7

Nic Maddinson $8

Matthew Wade $15

Mitchell Starc $21

Josh Hazlewood $101

Nathan Lyon $151

Chadd Sayers $151

Jackson Bird $251

Top Pakistan Runscorer – 1st Innings 

Misbah-ul-Haq $4.50

Azhar Ali $5

Sami Aslam $5.50

Younis Khan $5

Asad Shafiq $6

Babar Azam $5.50

Sharjeel Khan $7

Sarfraz Ahmed $11

Mohammad Rizwan $11

Mohammad Nawaz $13

Mohammad Amir $151

Yasir Shah $67

Sohail Khan $51

Wahab Riaz $67

Rahat Ali $251

Imran Khan $251

Man of the Match 

David Warner $6.50

Mitchell Starc $6.50

Steve Smith $7

Josh Hazlewood $9

Usman Khawaja $10

Matthew Renshaw $13

Chadd Sayers $15

Jackson Bird $15

Nic Maddinson $18

Peter Handscomb $18

Nathan Lyon $21

Matthew Wade $34

Misbah-ul-Haq $15

Azhar Ali $17

Sami Aslam $21

Younis Khan $18

Asad Shafiq $26

Babar Azam $21

Sharjeel Khan $34

Sarfraz Ahmed $26

Mohammad Rizwan $34

Mohammad Nawaz $34

Mohammad Amir $15

Yasir Shah $18

Sohail Khan $26

Wahab Riaz $21

Rahat Ali $26

Imran Khan $26

Top Australia Wicket Taker – 1st Innings 

Mitchell Starc $2.63

Josh Hazlewood $3

Chadd Sayers $4.50

Jackson Bird $5

Nathan Lyon $6

Steve Smith $34

Top Pakistan Wicket Taker – 1st Innings 

Mohammad Amir $3.25

Yasir Shah $4

Sohail Khan $4

Imran Khan $4

Wahab Riaz $4.50

Rahat Ali $5

Mohammad Nawaz $6.50

Azhar Ali $34

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