Australia’s interim head coach Andrew McDonald played down the team’s concerns over closing out Test matches in the 4th innings after they missed out on a fine opportunity to script a historic victory against Pakistan in the 2nd Test of an ongoing 3-match series in Karachi.
McDonald, who took over from Justin Langer after the former head coach stepped down, said he is proud that Australia were able to get to a position of strength in the Karachi Test.
Despite taking a 408-run first innings lead in the 2nd Test, Australia failed to beat Pakistan who held on to a draw after batting out 171.4 overs stretching close to 2 days in the final innings. Babar Azam hit 196 425 balls while Mohammad Rizwan hit a hundred and Abdullah Shafique getting 96 in a patient knock at the top. Despite Nathan Lyon taking quick wickets towards the close of play, Pakistan drew the Test as the visiting team fluffed quite a few chances.
“”We’ve had good confirmation that the style of cricket we want to play is going to hold up,” McDonald said.
“But if you put yourself in those (winning) situations continually, we’ll find a way through them.
“There were missed opportunities on that final day but we gave ourselves a real good look at it, and that’s what I’m really proud of.”
Notably, Australia have tallied five such failures to bowl out teams on day five for victory in their last 19 Tests. Last year, India held on to a fighting draw after batting out the entire final day in Sydney after which they won the Gabba Test, chasing in excess of 300 to breach Australia’s fortress.
McDonald said morale was high in the Australian camp as the deadlocked series heads to the final match in Lahore, which hosts its first Test since 2009. The visitors had plenty of positives to take from the 2nd Test as their batting, led by Usman Khawaja, stepped up while Mitchell Starc used reverse swing well in the first innings and spinners Lyon and Mitchell Swepson shone.