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Pakistan (above) come into this series on the back of a whitewash against New Zealand Getty images

Pakistan face off Australia in the first of the three-Test series at the Gabba, starting December 15. This series has a different impetus in itself, as many think this just might be the last time Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq would play in whites in Australia. But wait, did he not say that he will play till 50 when his team levelled 2-2 against England? Pakistan come into this series on the back of a whitewash against New Zealand. The defeat against the Kiwis has put the entire Pakistan team in some kind of enigma, as they failed to get accustomed to the conditions.

They had a remarkable Test series against England, carrying their great run in the UAE against the lowly West Indies. They did defeat the Caribbean side 2-1 but could not emulate the same against New Zealand. In what looked like a different team against England and then West Indies, Pakistan were assaulted by the New Zealand seamers in both Tests. The most runs that the entire Pakistan team could manage was 230, which came in the second innings of the second Test. Such was the condition of the Pakistan team, who had Younis Khan scoring a double-century (218) against England at Oval, while Azhar Ali scoring an unbeaten triple-hundred (302*) against West Indies in Dubai.

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Prior to the New Zealand series, Pakistan were at the second spot in the ICC Test team rankings, but the petty performance against New Zealand saw them slipping to No. 4. In addition, they lost a Test series against New Zealand for the first time since 1985.

All the same, the main aspect of their cricket has been the unpredictability. The presence of Misbah and Younis adds a lot of depth in their batting order. But the manner in which they collapsed against New Zealand has raised some questions, as an Australian tour is never going to be easy. Out of the last 9 Tests that Pakistan have played, they won 5 and lost 4.

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Australia were in a good form when they beat New Zealand in limited-overs. Nonetheless, prior to that, they played a three-match Test series against South Africa. They did lose the series 2-1, managing to win the last Test. Irrespective of the series loss, they would be happy with the fact and about the manner in which they won the day-night Test at Adelaide.

Both teams come into this series with quite similar fortunes in the longest format. Some they won, some they lost. But despite this, Australia hold the prominence in this series with the home advantage.

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Mickey Arthur, the present Pakistan coach made his coaching debut 5 years ago as Australia coach. To add fuel to the fire, he had his first Test as the Australia coach against New Zealand at the Gabba. David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Usman Khawaja were all a part of the starting XI for Australia, but since then a lot has changed and so have the preferences for Arthur.

Pakistan have been known as a team, who have always found solution to their problems and bounce back hard. And one can definitely expect them to do the same with Steven Smith and his co. But the form of their batsmen has been a mind-boggling concern for Pakistan. Yasir Shah, who was the leading wicket-taker against England and West Indies, was left out of the starting XI against New Zealand in the second Test due to his poor form, as he went wicketless in the first Test.

Hence, with all these questions in their mind, as Pakistan will make way to play their second day-night Test match ever, they definitely have tough task ahead of them.

Pakistan squad for Tests vs Australia: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Mohammad Imran Khan, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz, Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asghar.

(Rohan A. Sawant is a reporter for CricketCountry. He loves Football, Cricket and is a die-hard Arsenal fan. He is an avid writer and has some knowledge about cricket and so he is trying his best to pour with his Laptop as he finds writing with pen and paper very clumsy. You can follow him on Twitter @iswandering)