Pakistan facing mammoth run chase

David Warner belts a six on the way to a 23-ball half-century, the second-fastest in Test cricket, against Pakistan at the SCG. He finished with 55.
David Warner belts a six on the way to a 23-ball half-century, the second-fastest in Test cricket, against Pakistan at the SCG. He finished with 55. DAN HIMBRECHTS

AUSTRALIAN coach Darren Lehmann will give weary pace duo Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood a modest break to stop the very real risk of their burnout before a back-breaking tour of India.

The quick men are likely to have to work hard today when Australia tries to take nine wickets to wrap up a 3-0 clean sweep of the Test series against Pakistan.

The visitors were 1-51 at stumps on Friday, still 411 runs away from an unlikely win.

David Warner again got the Aussies off to a flyer with the second-fastest 50 in Test cricket.

The left-hander took just 23 balls to post his half- century, before being dismissed on 55.

Usman Khawaja (79 not out), Steve Smith (59) and the dependable Peter Handscomb (40 not out) took Australia's second innings to 2-241 before Smith declared.

Burdened with the heaviest workload of the Test team, Hazlewood and Starc will be rested for "one or two” of the upcoming eight one-day internationals against Pakistan and New Zealand, Lehmann said.

India, where wickets are likely to offer the quicks little assistance, follows little more than a fortnight after the last ODI against New Zealand.

Australia will look to its two strike bowlers more than ever on what is expected to be an arduous tour against an Indian side that has rediscovered its love of batting all day and posted enormous totals.

Lehmann admitted his concern about the workloads of Starc and Hazlewood, but said they would certainly be involved in the one-day component of the summer.

Before the start of play at against Pakistan on Friday, Hazlewood had sent down 253 overs and Starc just 10 fewer in six Tests this summer.

The pair also played all three matches in the ODI sweep of New Zealand - Starc contributing 27 overs and Hazlewood 26.

Australia, expected to announce a one-day squad after this Test, will open its five-game series against Pakistan at the Gabba on Friday.

A three-game ODI series against the Black Caps across the Tasman, finishing on February 5, follows.

And Lehmann expects both of his speed demons to be available.

"You need your best players playing and Starc's one-day record is exceptional. They helped us get 3-0 against New Zealand a month or so ago,” Lehmann told Channel Nine.

"But they've bowled something like 280 overs in six Tests (including the ODIs). They're pretty tired.

"We've still got another innings here to go.”

Lehmann is wary of the heavy workload sitting on the shoulders of his two most valuable bowlers, but says they're only likely to miss one or two games.

"It's obviously going to be important to try and get a victory in the Test match (against Pakistan), and then we'll sum it up for the one-dayers,” Lehmann said.

"I'd imagine they'll miss a game or two here and there.

"We've got a pretty big lead-in (to India). (After Pakistan), we've got New Zealand and then we've got India.

"They're two great bowlers who have done a great job for us all summer. We'll look at that but they'll play certainly at some stage during the one-day series.”


Topics:  australian cricket team darren lehmann josh hazlewood mitchell starc odi test cricket

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