While their T20I clashes against Australia might have ended in a lopsided defeat, Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq is confident that his men can give the hosts a ‘tough time’ in the upcoming Test series.
Pakistan are due to play two Tests against Australia with the first of them set to get underway on November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane. It will also be the first match in charge for veteran opener Azhar Ali since he replaced Sarfraz Ahmed as the skipper of the Test side.
Misbah has put the onus on an experienced batting unit to lead from the front as they seek to topple Australia in their own backyard.
“The most heartening aspect is that we have a very experiences batting unit at our disposal,” Misbah stated.
“Asad Shafiq has scored runs here previously, so has Azhar Ali. Shan Masood has also got the experience recently of playing on bouncy pitches in South Africa and he performed well over there.
Misbah-ul-Haq interview on T20I and Test series against Australia. pic.twitter.com/umA6yRl0tQ— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 11, 2019
“In our bowling, we have several youngsters who bring a lot of pace. So our hope is to play good cricket. When you have such an ambitious team, you expect good results.”
Pakistan have arrived in Australia with a young pace attack which contains three teenagers – Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Musa Khan and Naseem Shah. While Afridi is now a seasoned international already, 19-year-old Muhammad Musa recently made his Pakistan debut in the preceding T20I series.
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Naseem Shah is yet to be capped at the international level, but the youngster has already been making waves in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class matches.
“The most important part on the tour is the mentality,” Misbah said.
“We have a young bowling unit who come without any excess baggage and they bring a lot of energy and drive to the side. Naseem Shah has been bowling well and so has Shaheen Afridi. Combine that with a batting order which has performed in these conditions previously.
Asad Shafiq interview at Perth Stadium, Perth pic.twitter.com/tAZudumA4d— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 11, 2019
“Babar Azam is also in great form as you saw in the T20 series. So hopefully, our batsmen can put up the runs in the series, and if that happens, we have the resources in the bowling department to give Australia a tough time.
“We have the bowlers who can pick up 20 wickets but that doesn’t matter if there aren’t enough runs on the board. If we have put up totals of 400-450, we will always be in the game, no matter what.”
Pakistan are currently involved in a practice match against Australia A in Perth and the visitors will be buoyed by their showing with the bat so far. Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq registered unbeaten tons on day one of the clash with Pakistan ultimately posting a total of 428.
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