DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat against Australia in the first test on Wednesday.
Allrounder Mitchell Marsh and left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe made debuts for Australia, which could regain the No. 1 spot in the test rankings with a 2-0 series sweep.
Pakistan also awarded test caps to legspinner Yasir Shah and fast bowler Imran Khan, who both had impressive performances in Pakistan A’s warm-up victory against Australia last week.
Younis Khan, who criticized selectors after being dropped for the limited-overs series which Pakistan lost 3-0 to Australia, returned to bolster the struggling middle-order.
Pakistan, without its suspended offspinner Saeed Ajmal, included allrounder Mohammad Hafeez as the third spinner along with Shah and Zulfiqar Babar in the hope that the Dubai International Cricket Stadium wicket will assist slow bowlers.
Hafeez missed the one-off Twenty20 and the ODIs series due to hand injury but recovered in time for test matches.
Mitchell Marsh is the second son of former test opener Geoff Marsh to play test cricket for Australia. His older brother, Shaun, made his debut in 2011.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan.
Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Chris Rogers, David Warner, Alex Doolan, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon.