Pakistan arrange two-day practice match after shambolic loss in 1st Test against Australia

This game wasn't part of the original schedule, but concerns around lack of match practice led to Pakistan requesting Cricket Australia for a match.
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Pakistan is set to engage in a two-day practice match against Victoria XI in preparation for the upcoming second Test. The Junction Oval in Melbourne will host the match on December 22 and 23.

Originally not part of the planned itinerary, the addition of this fixture resulted from concerns regarding Pakistan's insufficient match practice. To address this issue, Pakistan approached Cricket Australia, and the match was confirmed shortly before their defeat in the first Test in Perth, where they succumbed to a 360-run loss on the fourth day.

Notably, this practice game will not hold first-class status, providing Pakistan the flexibility to experiment with more than the standard 11 players.

Pakistan head coach Mohammad Hafeez said after the Test. "We wanted to have more practice rather than only one practice game. That had first-class status, so we couldn't give all the bowlers the chance to have a feel. That's the reason we wanted to have this practice game, so more guys could get a feel of a match scenario; we felt that would work well. We will definitely plan accordingly. All the players should use those two days to make themselves more familiar with the situations and the conditions."

Hafeez criticises tour logistics and pitch conditions

The tour's logistics have been a source of contention for Pakistan, notably with Hafeez criticizing the pitch conditions during their game against the Prime Minister's XI. Although weather conditions played a significant role in the placid nature of that wicket, expectations for a livelier surface at the Junction Oval may be misplaced. The Oval is renowned for having one of the flattest wickets in Australia, and conditions are unlikely to mirror those at the MCG.

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The second Test is scheduled to commence on December 26.

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