Aaron Finch's half-century and Ben McDermott's composure proved to be decisive as Australia defeated Pakistan by three wickets in Tuesday's thrilling one-off T20I.

Pakistan won the ODI series thanks in large part to the brilliance of captain Babar Azam and his superb 66 propelled the hosts to a competitive 162-8 in Lahore.

Babar's composure at the crease was much-needed for Pakistan, who lost Mohammad Rizwan (23) and Fakhar Zaman (0) in successive balls to T20I debutant Cameron Green (2-16).

Adam Zampa finally drew a stray shot out of Pakistan's skipper, who picked out Nathan Ellis to leave his side on 118-4.

Having already dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed, Ellis – the pick of Australia's bowlers with 4-28 – then did the damage through Pakistan's middle order, getting rid of the dangerous Khushdil Shah (24), Asif Ali (3) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (0), though Usman Qadir's flurry of 18 not out boosted the hosts.

Travis Head quickly set about getting the tourists' chase on its way, scoring a rapid 26 that included four boundaries before he was sent packing by Haris Rauf.

Josh Inglis (24) kept up the pace until Qadir struck, but Australia seemed well set before Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis and Green were dismissed in the space of 20 balls.

Yet captain Finch anchored the chase as he returned to form following back-to-back ducks in the ODI series, with his steady innings steering Australia into needing 15 runs from three overs.

A costly start to the 18th over from Haris saw McDermott plunder successive boundaries, though the pressure was back on Australia when Finch found Asif in the deep.

Afridi (2-21) rounded off an excellent spell by bowling Sean Abbott for a duck, yet another poor Haris ball handed McDermott the chance to clip away the winning boundary.

Captains come up big

Babar gave yet another exhibition of how he has risen to the top of the batting rankings in another sensational knock - his 66 coming at a strike rate of 143.47.

Yet it was World Cup winner Finch who took the trophy, as he showed plenty of patience to stay at the crease for 18 overs, showing why interim head coach Andrew McDonald backed him to stay on as skipper.

Historic tour comes to a close

It has been a brilliant match-up between Pakistan and Australia over the last month or so and the tourists will finally return home.

Australia have now won each of their past four T20Is against Pakistan, the first time they have gone on such a run, though this was the first meeting in the format between the teams in Pakistan.

Andrew McDonald has backed out-of-form captain Aaron Finch to lead Australia in the T20 World Cup this year ahead of a one-off match against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.

Opener Finch was dismissed without scoring in the second and third ODIs as the tourists suffered a 2-1 loss to a Babar Azam-inspired Pakistan side last week.

The skipper has not scored an international half-century since last July, but Australia interim head coach McDonald says he remains the man to lead his country when they attempt to defend their T20 World Cup title on home soil.

"From my end, there's no conversation around the [prospect] that he won't be there," said McDonald.

"His form can ebb and flow – like most players' can – and his ability to work through these patches has been significant in his career.

"We had the same conversation about David Warner leading into the T20 World Cup last [year], so all these conversations are going to happen.

"Do we think he's still good enough to play this level? One hundred per cent yes. That's as simple as it gets for us and we're building a team around him as captain.

"It's a pretty significant pillar to be discussing about not being at the T20 World Cup. From our end, we think he can still play at this level, 100 per cent."

Finch will be one of only three players who are set to face Pakistan in Lahore that were part of the side that won the World Cup in Dubai last November.

Australia will be looking for a fourth consecutive T20 win over Pakistan, but they will have their work cut out as the hosts have come out on top in 10 of their past 11 home matches in the shortest format.

Babar a class apart

Captain Babar made back-to-back centuries to give Pakistan a first ODI series win over Australia for 20 years.

The irrepressible skipper has made a staggering three hundreds, as many half-centuries and 36 in his past five knocks for his country - demonstrating his class in all formats.

As the top-ranked player in the world in both white-ball formats, Australia must find a way to remove Babar before he is set.

McDermott and Head vying for opening spot

Either Ben McDermott or Travis Head look set to open with Finch in the only T20 match before Australia head home.

There was good news for the tourists when Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis returned negative COVID-19 tests, while Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green are in contention to make their T20I debuts.

Babar Azam hailed Pakistan's "historic" series win over Australia after scoring another century in a nine-wicket victory.

Pakistan bowled Australia all out for 210 before comfortably chasing down their target, thanks largely to the efforts of top-order batsmen Babar (105 not out) and Imam-ul-Haq (89 not out).

Babar also recorded triple figures in Pakistan's second ODI victory on Thursday, and his consecutive centuries proved decisive in the hosts beating Australia in back-to-back home ODIs for the first time since 1982.

Writing on Twitter after his crucial haul, Babar referred to his team-mates as "superstars" and thanked Pakistan's fans for their support in Lahore.

"A historic series win for Pakistan," wrote Babar, who has now plundered 16 ODI career centuries.

"[I] couldn't have asked for more from my pack of superstars, excellent performances from Imam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf.

"To all our fans, thank you so much for your massive support!"

Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq posted: "This is historical, winning the ODI series against Australia 2-1 at home.

"Some phenomenal performances [were] witnessed by the batsmen and bowlers. Keep supporting our great Pakistan!"

Before failing to remove either Babar or Imam as they struggled with the ball, Australia lost their highest run-scorer of the series, Travis Head, to the first delivery of their own innings, leaving skipper Aaron Finch to bemoan a failure to set their hosts a more difficult target.

"We didn't get enough runs," Finch told reporters. "When you go three down in the first few overs, it's always going to be hard to get a big total."

Babar Azam scored another century as Pakistan beat Australia by nine wickets in Saturday's third ODI to claim a 2-1 series victory.

The Pakistan skipper registered triple figures in the hosts' thrilling second ODI win on Thursday and followed that up with an unbeaten 105 in the decider at Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan bowled their opponents all out for 210 and comfortably chased down their target in 37.5 overs thanks to Babar (105 not out) and Imam-ul-Haq (89 not out).

It marks the first time Pakistan have beaten Australia in back-to-back home ODIs since 1982, and the first time the Aussies have lost successive games in the format since 2020.

Aaron Finch and Travis Head were both removed by Pakistan for ducks and, while Ben McDermott (36) and top-scorer Alex Carey chipped away, the latter could only reach 56.

Haris Rauf in particular impressed with the ball, finishing with figures of 3-39, though Sean Abbott's 49 near the end of the innings did at least give Australia something to defend.

Zakhar Zaman was dismissed by pacer Nathan Ellis in the fourth over, but he had put on 17 runs by that point and Pakistan were 24-1.

Indeed, that proved to be the only wicket Australia managed to take as Babar and Imam-ul-Haq shared a 190-run partnership.

Imam's unbeaten 89 included six fours and one six, while Babar hit 12 fours to seal a dominant victory in Lahore.

Babar leads the way

Following this latest impressive display of leadership, Babar has now registered four centuries and three half centuries from nine ODI innings in Pakistan.

The 27-year-old has 16 ODI hundreds overall in 84 innings, second among Pakistan players only to Saeed Anwar, who has 20 in 244 innings.

Australia struggle with bat and ball

Australia used seven different bowlers through the Pakistan innings and none of them were able to make the key breakthrough by removing Babar or Imam.

The tone had been set a lot earlier in the day when, having been put in to bat first, the tourists lost Head, their highest run-scorer of the series, to the very first ball.

Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq hit centuries as Pakistan battled to a six-wicket victory over Australia on Thursday to level up their three-match ODI series at 1-1.

Australia won by 88 runs in Tuesday's opener and looked good value to claim a series win when posting 348-8 from their 50 overs at Gaddafi Stadium.

But led by inspirational skipper Azam (114) and Imam-ul-Haq (106), Pakistan claimed a gripping victory that was sealed by Iftikhar Ahmed (11 not out) with an over to spare.

The victory is Pakistan's first over Australia in 11 ODIs – coming from their highest ever successful ODI chase – and sets up a decider in Lahore on Saturday.

The tourists were cruising at 237-2, despite losing Aaron Finch for a duck, with Ben McDermott becoming the 50th different Australia player to register an ODI century.

Travis Head put on 89 runs and Marcus Stoinis 49 either side of McDermott (104), while Marnus Labuschagne (59) also registered a half-century, but Pakistan soon hit back.

McDermott was finally caught off pacer Mohammad Wasim and, after Alex Carey and Cameron Green fell for five each, Sean Abbott kept his side ticking over with a 16-ball 28.

Australia would have been disappointed to fall below the 400-runs mark, however, with Shaheen Afridi finishing with figures of 4-63, while Wasim took 2-56.

That 349-run target looked even more attainable when Pakistan reached 118 inside 19 overs before Fakhar Zaman (67) was sent packing by Stoinis out of nowhere.

Babar entered the fray at that point alongside Imam-ul-Haq and the pair put the hosts well on their way to a famous win, though momentum was halted slightly when the latter was caught by Labuschagne off Adam Zampa.

Babar was next to go and Zampa then took Mohammad Rizwan (23), but Khushdil Shah (27 not out) and Ahmed saw out the job to keep the series alive.

McDermott century not enough

Seeking an 11th successive ODI win over Pakistan, Australia must have felt they had done enough when McDermott and Head piled on 162 off 144 balls for the second wicket.

But Afridi, who missed the first clash with a knee injury, added to his golden duck of Finch by taking the wickets of Green, Stoinis and Abbott in the space of four overs.

Babar surpasses Azhar

Proving he is the right man for any occasion, Babar's century saw him overtake Azhar Ali for the most ODI hundreds as Pakistan skipper.

Indeed, after hitting 114 off 83 balls – which included 11 fours and one six – Babar is now level with Mohammad Yousuf (15) for the second-most hundreds for Pakistan in 50-over internationals.

Babar Azam was left to rue "soft dismissals" but says he has "full faith" in Pakistan after they suffered a 1-0 Test series defeat to Australia.

Nathan Lyon claimed 5-83 and the magnificent Pat Cummins took 3-23 as the tourists bowled Pakistan out for 235 on the final day to win by 115 runs at Gaddafi Stadium.

Imam-ul-Haq made 70 and the brilliant Babar 55, but Pakistan crumbled from 142-2 as Lyon snaffled a 19th five-wicket Test haul and man of the match Cummins finished with match figures of 8-79.

Captain Babar knows Pakistan only have themselves to blame after watching Australia get their hands on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

He said: "We didn't go defensive, we played positive cricket. You plan according to the situation. It's not like you go out, play big shots and go for the runs.

"We had a good session early in the day, but unfortunately we had soft dismissals and that's the reason we lost the game.

"We had a simple plan: to take the momentum in hand first and then think [about chasing the victory] after the tea. After lunch, we had a plan to play normal cricket.

"We weren't able to decide whether to go for a win or a draw. But with all those wickets falling, we decided to go deep as much as we could, but we were positive throughout.

"There were continuous discussions in our dressing room about chasing it down. But when your main batters are dismissed, you obviously start thinking differently.

"Still, Sajid [Khan] and I were trying to build a partnership and extend as much as we could, hoping we could draw. Yet we never held back, kept on playing shots and utilised whatever came in our area. So the mindset was positive but it didn't go in our way."

Babar is totally behind his players and is not contemplating making changes.

He added: "Overall the series went well, especially the Karachi Test where we dominated and saved the match. Unfortunately, I got out but even then we had our mindset on chasing.

"But mistakes are part of the game and it's too early to think about changes [to the team]. We don't have to forget their recent performances.

"Our entire team is experienced now, we have developed a good combination and I have full faith in them."

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc ripped through Pakistan on day three of the third Test to leave Australia scenting a series victory at Gaddafi Stadium.

Captain Cummins and fellow paceman Starc were lethal in the evening session as Pakistan collapsed from 214-2 to 268 all out in reply to Australia's 391 in Lahore.

The outstanding Cummins took 5-56 and Starc 4-33, with Babar Azam's side unable to contend with the reverse swing and pace they generated with the second new ball.

Abdullah Shafique (81), Azhar Ali (78) and Babar (67) had put Pakistan in a promising position, but they lost seven wickets in the final session before Australia closed on 11 without loss - leading by 134 runs.

Australia were unable to make a breakthrough in the morning session after Pakistan resumed on 90-1, Shafique and Azhar bringing up their half-centuries as they added 69 runs before lunch.

A second-wicket stand of 150 finally ended when Nathan Lyon got Shafique caught behind following a review, but Steve Smith was unable to take chances to remove Babar on 20 and Azhar, when he had 62 to his name, in the slips as the runs flowed more freely.

Azhar passed 7,000 Test runs, but Pakistan were 214-3 when Cummins took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to end his excellent knock.

Starc then cleaned up Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan as the momentum swung dramatically in Australia's favour after tea, with the magnificent Cummins also conjuring up substantial reverse swing as he saw the back of Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali and Hasan Ali to claim a five-wicket haul.

Babar was trapped leg before by Starc, who then produced a searing delivery that crashed into Naseem Shah's off stump to end Pakistan's innings with a flash. Usman Khawaja and David Warner then saw off three overs as Australia took command.

Cummins and Starc produce pace-bowling masterclass

After spending much of the day toiling with wickets hard to come by once again, Starc and Cummins were at their brilliant best late in the day.

They got the ball swinging, while also bowling perfect lengths at pace to tear through the Pakistan order, taking seven wickets for 20 runs.

Cummins became the first paceman to take a five-wicket haul in the series and his seventh in the longest format, producing a peach of a delivery that Sajid chopped on before pinning Nauman leg before and getting Hasan caught by Smith.

 

Pakistan crumble after trio build strong foundations

It looked like a first-innings lead was there for the taking for Pakistan courtesy of fine knocks from Shafique, Azhar and Babar.

The trio batted superbly on a good pitch, but the middle order and tail was blown away by Cummins and Starc, with three batters falling without scoring and Rizwan only making one.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan produced incredible batting displays as Pakistan hung on to claim a famous draw in the second Test with Australia in Karachi.

Pakistan skipper Babar's century on Tuesday set up a thrilling conclusion at the National Stadium and the contest was in the balance right until the end.

Babar eventually fell four runs short of a double century, while Rizwan was unbeaten on 104 to help Pakistan survive a record 172 overs in the fourth innings.

The hosts are nine Tests unbeaten against Australia at this venue and, having also played out a draw in Rawalpindi, it is now all to play for in the third and final Test in Lahore.

Pakistan started day five on 192-2 in their second innings, leaving them needing 314 runs to pull off a record chase, and hopes were high when Babar resumed play.

Babar and Abdullah Shafique crossed 200 runs, marking just the fourth time a third-wicket double century partnership had been notched in the fourth innings of a Test.

Australia wrestled back some control when Pat Cummins removed Shafique for 96 just before lunch, with Steve Smith redeeming himself for an earlier drop.

Fawad Alam (nine) succumbed to Cummins, but Babar continued to add runs and looked set for a deserved double ton.

However, he was eventually dismissed for 196 by Nathan Lyon, who then removed Faheem Ashram for a duck to keep things finely poised.

Having fended off Australia for so long, Pakistan then lost Sajid Khan (nine) and were 414-7 with eight overs remaining.

Rizwan looked to be next to go, only for Usman Khawaja to spill the chance, and from there the right-handed batsman brought up his hundred in the penultimate over.

Unable to take the final three wickets, Australia were left to rue what might have been as Pakistan reached 443-7 – 63 runs short of victory – to claim a famous draw. 

 

Babar inspires Pakistan fightback

Babar had gone over two years without a Test century prior to reaching three figures on Tuesday and went on to add another 94 runs on the final day in an inspiring display.

Flanked by supporting roles from Rizwan and Shafique, Babar, whose innings lasted 425 balls, batted for more than 10 hours in the end, though he would have loved to have reached a double century.

Lyon's best efforts not enough

All of Pakistan's hard work was nearly undone thanks to a late flurry of wickets for Lyon, who ended with figures of 4-112.

Removing Babar was a key moment in a match that proved gripping from the start, in stark contrast to a mundane first Test, and sets up a gripping finale next week.

Babar Azam's impressive century kept Australia at bay and provided Pakistan with hope of pulling off a huge comeback in the second Test at the National Stadium.

Pakistan were set a 506-run target and lost two wickets early on, yet they fought back valiantly thanks to skipper Azam (102 not out) and opener Abdullah Shafique (71 not out).

The hosts reached 192-2 at the end of play on Tuesday in Karachi, leaving them requiring 314 runs on the final day to go nine Tests unbeaten against Australia at this venue.

Australia resumed their second innings at 81-1 and batted for half an hour before declaring on 97-2, with Marnus Labuschagne (44) and David Warner (seven) the men to fall.

If Pakistan's task looked tough at that point, it soon become even more daunting as they lost Imam-ul-Haq (one) and Azhar Ali (six) early on in their reply.

Azhar fell to Cameron Green when attempting to evade a short-pitched delivery, though replays showed he gloved the ball and would have stayed had it been reviewed.

Those wickets either side of lunch, with Imam trapped lbw from the bowling of Nathan Lyon, looked set to have Australia on course for victory inside four days.

But Shafique hit three boundaries and a six, while Babar hit seven boundaries in his knock to ensure Pakistan remain in with a fighting chance of avoiding defeat on home soil.

Stumps it is! Another tough day, but it would be fair to say that our boys came out owning it#BoysReadyHain l #PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/VtRpO0Vhis

— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 15, 2022 Pakistan fightback led by Babar

Babar's batting average of 65.7 from four innings at the National Stadium prior to this Test is his highest at any venue where he has batted more than two innings.

The hosts' inspirational skipper once again led from the front with what was his first Test century in more than two years, spanning across 21 innings.


The hope that kills you

Pakistan's previous highest successful chase came against Sri Lanka in 2015 when set a 377 run target, so history will be made if they can dig in on Tuesday.

If they can make it to the final session of the day with some wickets in hand, the hosts would no doubt consider a draw as being like a victory.

Mitchell Starc struck three times as Australia put themselves in a great position to win the second Test against Pakistan on day three at the National Stadium.

Pat Cummins declared with the tourists 556-9 in Karachi on Monday, their third-highest total in Pakistan.

Starc took 3-29 and Mitchell Swepson claimed 2-32 as the hosts were skittled out for 148 in reply.

Captain Babar Azam top scored with 36 in a dismal effort from Pakistan with the bat and Australia were 81-1 at stumps, leading by a mammoth 489 runs and scenting a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after Cummins opted against enforcing the follow-on.

Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Starc with the second ball of the day, but Cummins and Swepson put on 51 in quick time for the last wicket.

Swepson ran Abdullah Shafique out to end an opening stand of 26 and Pakistan collapsed from 60-2, losing six wickets in the afternoon session.

Babar fell to Swepson when he gave the spinner the charge and could only pick out Usman Khawaja in the deep as Pakistan crumbled to 118-9.

Nauman Ali (20 not out) and Afridi (19) produced a final-wicket stand of 30 before Swepson removed the left-arm paceman.

Hasan Ali saw the back of David Warner for only seven after Cummins elected to bat again, but the in-form Khawaja (35no) and Marnus Labuschagne (37no) combined for an unbroken partnership of 61 to extend Australia's huge lead.

 

Starc swings Australia into complete control

With Pakistan weary after so long in the field, Starc conjured up some swing to strengthen Australia's grip on the match.

The left-arm paceman had Azhar Ali caught by Cameron Green at second slip for only 14 and followed that up by trapping Fawad Alam leg before from the next delivery.

Starc also removed Sajid Khan, caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey, as the tourists ripped through Pakistan.

 

Swepson makes his mark

Spinner Swepson had a long time to wait for his Test debut, having first been called up five years ago.

The tweaker made an unbeaten 15 in an unbroken final-wicket stand with Cummins of 51, before running Shafique out.

Swepson then made Babar his first Test scalp when the Pakistan captain was taken by Khawaja in the deep and finished the innings by snaring Afridi leg before wicket.

Babar Azam says Australia are not frightened about facing Australia after Pakistan "dominated" the first Test at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Australia only took four wickets in a drawn opening match of the series as Imam-ul-Haq scored a century in both innings.

Captain Pat Cummins felt the pitch in Rawalpindi had been prepared to nullify the tourists' pace attack.

Pakistan skipper Babar felt his side might have forced a victory if they had not lost time due to the weather in the opening match of the series and is hopeful they will come out on top at the National Stadium, 

He said: "We're not frightened of Australia. The conditions are the same for both teams, and the World Test Championship points are very crucial.

"As a captain, I wanted us to win. The way our side dominated, we had batters score 150-plus and [bowlers] get wickets. So there's nothing to panic about. We dominated.

"We didn't get a result, unfortunately, but that's not in our hands. If all the overs that were lost due to rain were played, maybe we'd have a different result."

Babar says Pakistan will not be taken by surprise when they face Australia spinner Mitchell Swepson, who will make his debut in Karachi.

The Pakistan skipper said: "I haven't seen much of him. We'll watch videos of him and plan accordingly. We've started practice here; i

"tt's quite hot and the conditions are different. We have momentum with us; we dominated the first Test and had great individual and team performances.

"The batters batted well, the bowlers took ten wickets, and Nauman six. The overall team performance was good and we're trying to take that momentum into this game."

 

Azhar nearing landmark

Azhar Ali made a magnificent 185 in the first Test as Pakistan piled on the runs in Rawalpindi.

The former captain is only 94 runs away from reaching the 7,000 run milestone in the longest format.

Azhar has scored four Test centuries against Australia and he will have a big part to play in Pakistan's quest to take a 1-0 lead.

 

Khawaja making up for lost time

Australia batter Usman Khawaja made a brilliant 97 in the opening Test as he continues to make up for lost time following his recall.

Khawaja made a century in both innings in January on his recall for the Sydney Cricket Ground Test against England in January.

The left-hander has registered a hundred and five half-centuries in his past eight Tests against his country of birth Pakistan and can set the tone at the top of the order once again.

Babar Azam says Pakistan are ready to give Australia a "tough time" when a historic three-match series gets under way at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Australia will be playing their first Test in Pakistan for 24 years and the two nations will be competing for the honour of lifting the Benaud-Qadir Trophy for the first time.

Pakistan whitewashed Bangladesh 2-0 in their last Test series, but they will have to do without the injured Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf along with Haris Rauf – who tested positive for coronavirus.

Australia are top of the rankings after thrashing England 4-0 to retain the Ashes, but Babar says Pakistan can bring them back down to earth.

The Pakistan captain said: "It did disturb our combination, especially injuries to Faheem and Hasan. Faheem contributes both with ball and bat, and Hasan is one of the top bowlers, a proven match-winner.

"Still, we have Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, who both are bowling well, and Fawad Alam and [Mohammad] Rizwan in good batting form. Australia is one of the best sides, we can't take it easy against them.

"We did well against Bangladesh. In this series, too, we will do well and give them a tough time. Fans can expect quality cricket from us."

Andrew McDonald has been installed as Australia's interim head coach after Justin Langer's departure.

Both Babar and Australia skipper Pat Cummins revealed they will wait until the coin toss to name their sides after they were unable to take a look at the pitch due to rain on Thursday.

Cummins said: "We're pretty sure [what the team will be] but we just want to have another look at the wicket, and we probably won't get the chance today, so we'll have a think late this arvo [afternoon] to work out the XI, or tomorrow morning,

"We've got a fair idea what we want to do, but don't want to make the call too early without fully knowing what the wicket is."

Australia were 1-0 winners in their last Test series in Pakistan back in 1998.

Babar to rack up the runs in Rawalpindi again?

Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for run machine Babar.

The prolific skipper has scored two centuries and a half-century in his four Tests at the venue, where he averages 110 in the longest format.

Babar's last reached three figures in a Test in Rawalpindi just over two years ago, making 143 versus Bangladesh.

 

Warner a thorn in Pakistan's side

David Warner has a staggering average of 108.4 against Pakistan in the longest format – the best of any player in any history to have been at the crease at least six times against them.

That average soared after the Australia opener made a magnificent 335 not out when the Pakistan attack toiled in the second Test at Adelaide Oval in 2019. Warner also scored a hundred in the first match of that series, which Australia won 2-0.

Warner will be eager to put the misery of bagging a pair in his last Test, against England in Hobart, behind him when he bats in Pakistan for the first time in a Test.

Shaheen Afridi and Joe Root have been named the ICC men's Player of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year for 2021.

Pakistan fast bowler Afridi took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, including a career-best of 6-51 against West Indies in August.

It was during Pakistan's run to the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup that the 21-year-old particularly impressed, taking seven wickets in six matches.

Mohammad Rizwan, England captain Root and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson were also nominated for the prestigious award.

While Root missed out on that accolade, he was voted the top Test cricketer for 2021.

Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons, in what was otherwise a disappointing year for England.

Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have scored more in a single calendar year.

The 31-year-old saw off competition from New Zealand bowler Kyle Jamieson, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

"I am incredibly proud to receive this award," Root said. 

"I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award."

 

Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his team-mates last year, with Rory Burns (530) and Jonny Bairstow (391) next on the list.

He is only the second Englishman to claim the accolade after Alastair Cook in 2011. 

The award had been won by an Australian player on five of the last seven occasions it has been handed out, with Pat Cummins the most recent winner in 2019.

Elsewhere, Afridi's team-mate Babar Azam was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year on Monday after scoring 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.

And fellow Pakistan star Rizwan was crowned men's T20I Cricketer of the Year on Sunday, with England's Tammy Beaumont claiming the women's equivalent.

Rizwan, Babar and Afridi were also included in the ICC T20I Team of 2021, alongside the likes of Jos Butler, Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.

ICC Teams of the Year

Men's T20I Team of 2021: Jos Butler (ENG), Mohammad Rizwan (PAK, WK), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Aiden Markram (SA), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), David Miller (SA), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Tabraiz Shamsi (SA), Josh Hazlewood (AUS), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

Men's ODI Team of 2021: Paul Stirling (IRE), Janneman Malan (SA), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Fakhar Zaman (PAK), Rassie van der Dussen (SA), Shakib Al-Hasan (BANG), Mushfiqur Rahim (BANG, WK), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Simi Singh (IRE), Dushmantha Chameera (SL)

Men's Test Team of 2021: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG), Kane Williamson (NZ), Fawad Alam (PAK), Rishabh Pant (IND, WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Kyle Jamison (NZ), Hasan Ali (PAK), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

The International Cricket Council has announced its men's and women's T20I teams of the year, with Pakistan's Babar Azam and England's Nat Sciver named as captains.

Six countries are represented in the men's side, with three each from South Africa and Pakistan, two from Australia and one from England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The three Pakistan players to make the team are Babar, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi. Babar was the top scorer in the T20 World Cup and amassed 939 runs in 29 matches in 2021 overall. Rizwan managed 1,326 runs in the same number of matches at a strike rate of 134.89, while Afridi took 23 wickets in 21 matches at an economy of just 7.86.

Aiden Markram, David Miller and Tabraiz Shamsi are the chosen trio from South Africa. Markram scored 570 runs in 18 matches, Miller 377 runs at a strike rate of 149.60, and wrist spinner Shamsi took 36 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 5.72.

Australia duo Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood are also chosen, with the former making 627 runs in 21 matches and starring in the T20 World Cup final win over New Zealand.

Hazlewood also played a huge partl in his team's World Cup success, taking 23 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 16.34.

England's Jos Buttler makes the team after scoring 589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 apiece, with one century. He was England's leading run-scorer in the World Cup with 269, which included a stunning century against Sri Lanka, who themselves are represented by Wanindu Hasaranga.

The spinner was another standout performer at the World Cup with 16 wickets to his name, more than anyone else in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Hasaranga took 36 wickets in 20 matches last year.

The final selection is Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman, who claimed 28 wickets in 20 matches at an average of 17.39, as well as keeping things tight with an economy of 7.00.

The women's team sees five English selections, including Sciver as captain, along with Tammy Beaumont, Danni Wyatt, Amy Jones and Sophie Ecclestone.

They are joined by Smriti Mandhana (India), Gaby Lewis (Ireland), Laura Wolvaardt, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail (all South Africa) and Loryn Phiri (Zimbabwe).

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne has risen to number one in the ICC Test batting rankings.

Labuschagne made his Test debut for Australia in 2018 against Pakistan in Dubai. However, it was during the 2019 Ashes that the 27-year-old came to prominence.

He became the first player to be a concussion substitute in a Test match when he replaced Steve Smith in the second match at Lord's, after the former Australia captain had been struck on the back of the neck.

His resilient 59 helped Australia secure a draw and he was named in the line-up for the following Test and has not looked back since.

Labuschagne has averaged 62.14 from 20 Tests, and has scored 74, 0 (not out), 103 and 51 in his four innings in the 2021-22 Ashes as Australia cruised into a 2-0 lead.

He has hit six centuries, including one double-hundred against New Zealand in January 2020.

Labuschagne's career-high 912 rating points saw him leapfrog England captain Joe Root, who has had a brilliant 2021 when it comes to run-scoring, even if his side have struggled.

Indeed, Root has now scored 4,859 runs as England Test captain, surpassing the previous record set by Alastair Cook (4,844).

Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and India's new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma complete the top five.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, meanwhile, has risen to the number one spot for T20I batsmen, though he is tied with England's Dawid Malan.

Mitchell Starc has bowled impressively in the Ashes so far and has moved into the top six for bowlers.

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