- Australia side unchanged for Boxing Day test
Change could be afoot for the tourists as they look to level the series in Melbourne
While Steve Smith has announced an unchanged Australian XI for the Boxing Day Test on Sunday, his Pakistan counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq left everybody guessing about the combination he will field tomorrow at the MCG.
Maddinson has scored zero, one and four in his three test innings since making his debut against South Africa in Adelaide, and his place in the team had been in question following the decision to call all-rounder Hilton Cartwright into the squad.
Smith, however, said Maddinson would play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday as his fast bowling trio of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird had recovered well after a heavy workload in the first test in Brisbane.
“We brought the all-rounder into the squad because the bowlers had a pretty heavy workload but they’ve pulled up well and they’re confident they can get through,” Smith said.
The trio bowled 113 overs in Pakistan’s second innings in the first match in Brisbane, where the visitors were dismissed for 450, chasing 490 for victory.
Bird had told reporters on Saturday that he thought the trio had managed to shake off any aches and pains since the first test ended and would perform if given the nod.
“I think us three quicks and Nathan Lyon have been doing a good job,” Bird said.
“We’ve won the last two test matches and I’m not sure why they’d change that.”
Security has been increased at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for Monday’s second Test between Australia and Pakistan following the arrest of seven people over a terror-related plot in the city.
Those charged were allegedly planning to attack Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station, nearby Federation Square and St Paul’s Cathedral on Christmas Day.
Chief police commissioner Graham Ashton said while they are confident the terror plot had been contained, extra police will be deployed at major events.
“We know there’s lot of events on over the next several days right across our state, including the Boxing Day Test, Christmas carols, other events that are on,” he said.
“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any threat whatsoever in relation to any of those events. However we’re just making sure we’re taking those extra precautions.”
Victoria Police and Cricket Australia were liaising over the appropriate security level.
“Our security team is in contact with the relevant authorities to ensure we have the appropriate level of security at the Boxing Day test and other cricket matches being held around the country,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.
In a security-related move late in 2015, the MCG erected a new perimeter fence about 20 to 25 meters (65 to 80 feet) away from the stadium where spectators queue to pass through security before entering the ground.
Australia won the first Test against Pakistan by 39 runs at the Gabba in Brisbane. A third Test in the series begins 3 January in Sydney.