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Australia vs Pakistan third Test: Tips and suggested bets

Planet Sport offers a string of suggested bets and tips for the third Test between Australia and Pakistan starting on 3 January.

While Pakistan eventually turned up late in the Boxing Day Test, they still lost the match and the series, but their coach has since tried to claim a moral victory.

Pakistan gave Australia a scare in the chase, and if not for a contentious decision, they might have run their hosts even closer.

With the series moving to Sydney and having been already won by Australia, the focus turns just a little to David Warner and his retirement. It will be the final Test of a glittering playing career that has been hampered by disciplinary issues and clashes with authority.

The venue for the showdown is the famous SCG, which has become a ground that has seen a lot of draws over the last few years, but that has been more to do with the weather than the playing surface. Six of the last nine Tests at the SCG have ended in a draw.

 

Australia vs Pakistan third Test: Suggested bets

 

If you feel that sentimentality will rule the day or think that Warner just looks in good form, you may want to back the opening bat for success. However, the last time Australia played Test cricket at the SCG, it was Usman Khawaja who went big, aided by another New South Welshman, Steve Smith. Khawaja and Warner look to be good picks to end up as the top runscorer for Australia.

Pakistan's failure to convert starts into big scores has been an issue, but they do have several batters who appear to be in decent touch. Shan Masood is one of those who really knows how to play a massive innings and he might find that the SCG offers him the perfect surface for his kind of game.

When it comes to the top bowler in Australia's ranks, the performance of Pat Cummins last time out has highlighted who the real star of the bowling attack truly is. Cummins was the man who finally derailed Pakistan's chase and bagged ten in that match, and he will be at the core of Australia's efforts with the ball. 

Pakistan's opening bowlers have threatened to form a lethal pairing in Australian conditions, and both appear to be getting better as the series goes on. Much was always expected from Shaheen Shah Afridi, but Mir Hamza's performances have been impressive. Hamza looks to be a good pick for most wickets in Australia's first innings.

 

Predictions

 

Usman Khawaja to top-score for Australia in the first innings.

Shan Masood to score the most runs for Pakistan in the match.

Pat Cummins to take the most wickets for Australia.

Mir Hamza to be top wicket-taker in Australia's first innings.

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