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Cricket Betting Preview: Pakistan worth backing to level the series against Australia at MCG

Australia Cricket Steve Smith - New

Recommended bet: Pakistan to win @ 9/2 (5.50) with PalmerBet

The 1st Test at the Gabba produced what eventually turned out to be a nail-biting 39-run victory for Australia against Pakistan, with the Tourists just failing in their quest to chase down what would have been a world record target.

It was a great advert for Test cricket and will ensure that the 2nd Test, starting on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is eagerly anticipated.

Having been set a seemingly impossible target on the back of their 1st innings batting nightmare, the 1st Test was looking as though it was heading Pakistan’s way until Mitchell Starc delivered a brilliant short delivery that was too good for Asad Shafiq and gave Australia the chance to finish off the match just three deliveries later.  

The victory at the Gabba may have come at a price for Australia though, with Starc and Josh Hazlewood having bowled an incredible 80 overs between them in Pakistan’s 2nd innings.  There have to be doubts as to how that could impact them physically going to Melbourne and fatigue could potentially be a significant issue.

Australia have added 24 year-old all-rounder Hilton Cartwright to their squad, with  Nic Maddinson, who batted at No. 6 in the past two Tests with very little to show for it in the way of runs scored, being the player in most obvious danger of losing his place.

Despite the defeat, the manner in which Pakistan fought back from the brink to make a real fist of it in Brisbane will give them enormous encouragement for the remainder of the series, particularly as the Gabba was seen as offering them the least chance of success  in this three-match series.

There is no questioning the ability of this Pakistan team, but they are renowned as a hugely inconsistent team.  However, the spirit shown in Brisbane should give them plenty of hope against an Australian side that is itself in transition and is a pale imitation of some of their predecessors at present.

Taking into account the possible bowling issues among the Aussie pace attack, backing Pakistan at pretty decent odds to square the series looks like a punt worth taking.