Boxing Day Test: Pakistan look forward to red ball, hard MCG pitch

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Melbourne : Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower says his side is looking forward to a return of the red ball and a hard Melbourne Cricket Ground pitch for the Boxing Day Test match.

The visitors lost the day-night first Test at the Gabba by 39 runs, having made a bold bid at a come-from-behind victory.

Former Zimbabwe star Flower believes the Melbourne conditions will give his side a better chance of taking early wickets and exposing Australia’s middle-order with reverse swing.

Flower also expects the MCG pitch to benefit legspinner Yasir Shah, who was criticized by commentator and former legspin great Shane Warne for bowling too defensively in Brisbane.

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja doubts that Pakistan has the momentum after its fourth-inning performance in Brisbane, nearly chasing down 490 runs.

Security has been increased at the MCG, where a crowd of 60,000 is expected on Monday, following the arrest of seven people over a terror-related plot in the city. Those charged Friday were allegedly planning to attack Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station, nearby Federation Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral on Christmas Day.