Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq has challenged Australia to bring their A-game in the upcoming two-Test series.
Shafiq admitted that Australia “have one of the best bowling attacks in the world right now”, but insisted that he and the rest of the Pakistan batsmen are ready for the challenge.
Shafiq’s fighting talk comes after he scored an unbeaten 101 in Pakistan’s practice game against the Cricket Australia XI in Perth.
The 33-year-old also struck an unbeaten 119 in his side’s previous practice match against Australia A.
“Yeah, it feels great whenever you score in any form of the game. Before the Test matches, its always good to get some runs under your belt. This was a good batting wicket and their bowling attack was also very good so we had good practice today,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “I feel good [about two centuries in a week] and as a batsman you always get confidence when you score runs and its good to get your confidence going before the big game.
“Australia have one of the best bowling attacks in the world right now, and we know that, but I feel that we are skillful enough to cope with it.”
He also noted that as a senior batsman in the side, he has to start leading by example.
“Its a great responsibility for me as I have played 69 Tests and after [the] retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, Azhar Ali and I have got the responsibility to head the batting together as we are experienced enough. It’s a bit challenging for a batsman to have this extra responsibility but I am up for it and ready for the challenge,” he said.
Shafiq also admitted that he is excited about the young talents in the Test squad and is optimistic about the team’s chances of winning their first-ever Test series in Australia.
“Its a great opportunity for us [to win a Test series in Australia] and as our captain Azhar Ali said, we have an opportunity to create history. We have a good and exciting team and as a batsman I am excited too. It’s a great honour to play for Pakistan so we will try our level best to play some good cricket,” he said.
“Its always good to get some new guys in the team because they have come in with good energy, it’s a positive thing for us as they are good bowlers, they are skillful and have pace and swing so we can surprise Australia with them.”
The two-Test series between Australia and Pakistan begins on November 21 in Brisbane.